Going mental?

It’s bittersweet to see more and more mainstream news outlets cover mental health issues (a step in the right direction) but while using language that perpetuates stereotypes and stigma. A recent NST headlines screamed : “[Exclusive] Overworked souls risk going mental and dying early”. The Oxford Dictionary defines “Going mental” as informal phrase that means […]

Meet Me Halfway, Mum.

Not to stereotype but Asian parents aren’t the best role models when it comes to awareness about mental illness. Asian cultures aren’t the most exemplary when it comes to being vocal about how you feel. It’s almost taboo to do so. Dinner time conversations never start with a “so, how was your day?” instead its […]

From me to you: Please be kind and considerate

I’ve been suffering from depression for quite sometime. I’m diagnosed with mixed anxiety-major depressive disorder. I attempted suicide countless times to the point that I was actually rushed to the ER. I overdosed three times on my antidepressants, drank chemical and I’ve been cutting myself. It’s a long story as to why i got depressed. […]

To tell or not to tell (Part 3)

How do you tell your story? We talked earlier about having clear goals when you tell your story. It could be to get practical help, emotional support or even to tackle stigma. Deciding what goes into your story is a process. In this article, we will go over what you may choose to put in […]

To tell or not to tell (Part 2)

What can you do with your mental health information? There are 5 ways we can keep our mental health information in relation to others. Only you can decide which is the best thing for you at this point in time. You can decide by doing a pros and cons list, or by discussing with some […]

To tell or not to tell (Part 1)

Have you ever wondered whether you should disclose your mental health history? Perhaps you want to but did not know how to do so. In this series, we will walk through a decision making process to help you decide on what to do and some tips on how you may want to do it. The […]

3 simple mindfulness practices

Cultivating mindfulness through regular meditation practice has been shown to produce numerous benefits over time. It reduces stress, anxiety, and emotional reactivity and increases focus, well-being, and compassion. However, meditators sometimes grapple with the question of how to tangibly apply mindfulness skills in day-to-day life, particularly in moments of stress when we notice our buttons […]

Never too late to recover

I did not know that I suffered from depression until it was too late. I lived a life where I was proud of having a strong sense of integrity, discipline and principles. But gradually, it came crashing down, the brick walls that I valiantly built was crumbling because the foundation was brittle. I was triggered […]

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a particular state of awareness cultivated through intentional practice. WHAT IS PARTICULAR ABOUT THIS STATE OF AWARENESS? 1. It is focused on the present moment. Our awareness is usually caught up in thoughts about the past or the future. We therefore cruise through life on autopilot unaware of what’s actually happening now in […]

The right to be free from abuse

You have the right not to be abused; to live and work in an environment where you are safe and secure; and to well-being.   Abuse not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children, who grow up […]

Tackling Depression in PJ

Trigger warning: The following post talks about the topic of depression and may trigger some readers. On July 8th 2017, Relate Malaysia along with MBPJ organized “Bengkel Depression: Let’s Talk” at the Community Library in Petaling Jaya. The talk was conducted by Dr. Chua Sook Ning, a clinical psychologist who founded Relate Malaysia, an organization that […]

Transforming suffering into strength

I am a 20 year old girl who lives in Kuala Lumpur. I have the privilege of having good education and a comfortable lifestyle. I have a family too, which seems to be perfect in the eyes of many. Considering that we are financially wealthy, they think to themselves, ‘What problems could she have?’. However, […]

I am better than my addiction

 I am currently living with my elder brother, my dad and my aunt. It all begin with the passing of my mum in 2007 when I was only 9 years old before my First Holy Communion. It started towards the end of 2014 to 2016, where my brother suffered from severe depression. It was due […]

Hope is bigger than depression

Brave was not a word I was able to identify with. I was always afraid of the dark, afraid of making friends and afraid of the world in general. But never brave. But ironically, that was the meaning of my name. Bernadette, meaning, brave as a bear. You see, I was never the type who […]

My long fight with food

I’ve been a self-diagnosed bulimic for 4 years now. I’ve never really talked to anyone about this but the pain gets unbearable day by day. I’m hoping by sharing my story, I will find some help. I’m interested in hearing people’s responses that would help me deal with this. It started back in Form 2. […]

How to heal from emotional injuries.

An emotional injury damages the attachment to the injurer, and damages the injured’s sense of self. The emotional injury can usually be named. It feels like a violation or betrayal of trust and happens within an ongoing relationship. Examples of emotional injuries are: abandonment, betrayal, neglect, humiliation, shaming and violation. How can you resolve emotional […]

Dark Clouds, Blue Sky

I never realised I am mentally ill until I was prescribed anti-depressants & anti-psychotics. I had always thought my condition was normal- emotions and negative thoughts. It’s really hard to identify the start of the dark journey because I had been feeling that way for a very long time. I had no idea why I […]

My life is beautiful despite OCD

Arshad is my name! Shad, if you can’t pronounce it fully, but I do like my name. Its Arabic meaning “Most Honest, Best Guided, or/and Most Wise. (Thanks Mak, Ayah.) I am 25 years old, a Chartered Accountant (in the making), Formula One enthusiast, Sports Photographer, and most recently, a Mental Health Activist with ‘Minda Initiative’ […]

Sheikh Shamir: My Life with OCD

We asked Malaysians to share their experience with OCD with us. Join the conversation #MYlifewithOCD. Meet Sheikh Shamir a 23 year old student with a great sense of humour! : Hi Sheikh Shamir! Thanks for agreeing to talk to us. Sheikh Shamir: Hi there, no problemo : Why don’t you tell me a bit about yourself […]

Beauty and the beast

Beauty and the beast. That’s what I think of when I think of my OCD and me. My OCD is the beast, but I’m the one trapped. I never thought I had OCD. I assumed that I just followed my mom’s footsteps since my mom is a totally clean freak. So I thought my behavior […]

Troubled but not defeated

Recovery. i have fallen so hard i have hit rock bottom i have been on a spiral that takes me only downwards i have been invisible, for as long as i can remember i have isolated my soul i have tried to let myself give up i have stayed six-feet underground, mentally i have been […]

What depression taught me

You may think this is going to be a list of how i almost killed myself about 10 times, or how i was stuck in the psychiatric ward but no, it isn’t. 1. Depression taught me to rely on God. I found my faith and realized that my God is bigger than my mental illness. […]

The reasonable response to mental illness and violent crimes

By Dr. Chua Sook Ning Mental illness is often brought up as a possible cause when an incomprehensible violent crime is committed. The authorities usually just say “mental illness”  without further explanation or specification. Here are just some recent cases in Malaysia where the authorities have implicated mental illness: Assault and arson (http://malaysiandigest.com/news/654630-man-suspected-of-running-amok-killing-three-and-burning-down-home-remanded.html) Gun violence […]

Sexual recidivism is not a mental illness

By Dr. Chua Sook Ning The NST Online report of Selva Kumar Subbiah addressed the social stigma against convicts and rightly affirms the civil rights of all citizens regardless of one’s past. Unfortunately, the article ends with this: “The American Supreme Court has interpreted this recidivist tendency as a mental health problem and sentences of […]

A love poem to suicide

I am thinking about countless pills, tight ropes and sharp knives, like a soul with no road to drive, bury my whole body alive, look at me as I am broken pen drive.   Dear suicide, You are among the negativity that didn’t give me hopes, but a bunch of tangled ropes and blood that […]

Discovering ADHD

I recently realized that all my fantastic multitasking skills, impulsive behaviors, my high level of constant boredom was not normal but might be due to inattention. I am highly distractible and the “zone” people refer to remains a mystery to me.It never bothered me much before, I just thought I needed to put in more […]

Remedy: A devised play about therapy

RELATE is proud to partner with EJA to produce a play on psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for mental illness but it remains inaccessible to the general public due to high cost, stigma about therapy and low manpower. We want to remove the stigma on therapy by giving you an intimate look at what […]

A journey and a new start

  Aku terkedu bila mendapat message di phone aku. Message dari sahabat baik aku menghentam aku dan mengingatkan aku kenapa hidup aku ni tak guna di hantar bertubi-tubi sampai kemurungan aku yang aku berjaya kawal selama beberapa hari ni terus terganggu. Aku dah cuba kawal mental dan emosi aku yang rapuh akibat banyak faktor. “Cacat. […]

Relentless thoughts

I’ve been spending late nights outside lately, trying to delay going home as much as possible. Trying to delay being alone, because being alone is being with the devil. Whispering lies to my ears, lies that I know isn’t true. But what drives me insane is not because I believe those lies, but because it […]

Mental health in prison

By Dr. Chua Sook Ning In the past week, there has been a great deal of attention on the incarceration of certain prominent activists, leading many Malaysians to protest against SOSMA and its application. Since 2000, the prison population in Malaysia has doubled and many of these offenders do not have anyone to speak up on their […]