Depression... In Malaysia

The circumstances in Malaysia prohibit us from discussing our thoughts so outwardly. It is a taboo to even talk about our feelings. Having problems? Nah, nobody is interested in listening. Even the professionals are annoyed when people come to see them, just to discuss about errr... feelings. There are more serious issues for them to handle. No offense... But this is the sad truth. 

Depression is not widely recognized in Malaysia unlike in Western countries where it is treated like a disease. And to me, it SHOULD be treated like a disease, because depression kills.


And how do I know so much about this?

I am one of those diagnosed with chronic depression and was put under treatment at the age of 27. By international standard, I was the Britney Spears of Malaysia. Both of us were prescribed with anti-depressants at such a young age. 


I know the feeling of having nowhere to turn to. In most cases, my cries for help were ignored. People undermined the chronic depression that I had, just thinking that it was another predicament I'd to go through. Once, I sent a message to someone close to me, asking if we could talk. I really felt that I was going to burst and all I needed was to talk to someone. And I was called an "attention seeker." I'm not sure how that label suits me since I was having suicidal thoughts and fantasized about my own death so many times a day. I felt so alone. 

I then chose to keep quiet. To tell the truth, I myself felt that I was annoying to others. So I retreat. I withdrew myself from social circles. But one thing that people with depression is good at, is to hide our emotions in front of people we love. Maybe that's why our cry for help was not heard. Look at the lead singer of Linkin Park. Didn't he post happy photos of him on social media just days before he committed suicide?

I consider myself lucky that I managed to come out of my chronic depression. That was a phase that I do not want to repeat again. I am thankful to a senior staff at my office who told me to learn to detach myself from the prescribed medicines but instead try to use my inner strength to fight depression. 

That's the reason why I never turned down my students when they want to talk. As a survivor of chronic depression, I can already gauge whether that particular person is also going through the same thing within few minutes of our conversation. I tried to listen to them so as to ease the feelings that they might have. Maybe I don't have the ability to solve their problems or to make everything go away, but at least I can share part of the burden by listening. I know that's all they ask for. I try to advise those who are going through chronic depression with my own experiences. 

So please, do not turn a deaf ear to anybody if all they want is just to talk. I know, all of us have our problems to deal with but people like us (me) with chronic depression, we do not have the same ability to accept facts like others. Maybe this is just our tests from the Almighty. Your tests might be different from us. But what can I say is, you should thank your lucky star that you do not have to go through episodes of chronic depression.

And for those who feel that they really need to talk to someone, you can reach out to me. Drop me an email ziedanazri@gmail.com and we'll talk. This disease, even though not medically recognized as serious in Malaysia, is indeed a true disease. And who knows better than the person who had already walked the talk? 

*This is the first time ever I open up about my chronic depression that I went through. I had written about it once, but not the whole story here, if you want to read. 

Alhamdulillah, I am a much better person now. I am a survivor.

2 comments:

  1. I feel you sister.I was diagnosed with the same,15 years ago.
    I had to seek treatment from a private clinic. It was a weekly session and the cost was exorbitant and when I finally couldn't afford it, I turned to govt clinic. I can't tell you how grateful I was to my mom who has been my greatest support along with my good friend they talked me out of weaning off the prescription drugs.
    It was my most difficult time, my youngest boy was only 2 at that time.
    Alhamdulillah we pulled this through sister. It makes us a stronger person now doesn't it.
    My son's only fear is that I could have relapse. I fear for that too but I ask Allah to keep me strong.
    Thank you for voicing out in public, your courage gives me strength to do the same. I have always been an introvert keeping much to myself to this day I live alone. May Allah keep you in His mercy

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    1. Alhamdulillah, I think both of us has become a better person. It is sad to know that not all survived and some had chosen erroneous ways to end their problems. I feel that I need to speak up since I had met a lot of people having the same. Hopefully our achievement can be set as examples for those who are still trying to figure out their life.

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