Thursday, March 31, 2011

Feeling Suicidal?

A sad and horrific news yesterday prompted me to pen this entry. A second year student in one of the public universities in Sarawak committed suicide in the man made lake where my youngest sister used to take samples for her experiments. I don't know much about the deceased. But despite my religion teachings which against and condemn suicides, I pray to God for forgiveness of his sins and may his soul rest in peace. For whatever he did and what prompted him to do that, that will be between him and God. Best not to speculate, that the least we could do as a final respect.

I read the deceased blog and couldn't help but admire his writings. His English was superb. Actually 10 years ago, there was a similar incident happened in Kuching. Not far from my previous office in King Centre, a young Chinese guy around the age of 23 also commited suicide by inhaling exhaust fumes. Few days later, friends and family members published his writings - poems, songs which were beautifully written. And both in their last writings penned this down .... LIVING is HARD. It is sad that potential great writers like them decided to end their life stories with a tragic and devastating ending.

Note: Even scarier, Qing Ming is on April 5 this year. This news brought back a memory of another departing soul.

Again, though I disagree suicide as the final answer to one's misery but lately ... I too felt that life is getting tougher and harder to cope with. Keeping a positive (and sane) mind is taking too much energy and strength. Combine with  stress, insecurities, boredom and frustration is a clear recipe for potential suicidal concoction. Sometimes I wonder, am I the one complicating matters or people around me are just difficult (of course ... this is always the answer ... NEVER me but ALWAYS them hehehe).

2 days ago, a Singaporean tourist around the age of 70 came to my office, complaining that she was chased out from her hotel even though she paid her rentals. Then showed me police report that she lost her wallet and money. But when I offered to send her back to Singapore, she refused saying that she has a court case to attend. When I offered to call her family members, she refused saying that she doesn't want to trouble them.

Then she started crying telling us stories that she was being cheated by a property developer, then she fear for her safety as she felt some people want to kill her... the story went on and on and on. I had to stop her short ... rising my voice "So what do you want me to do?" 

"Actually, I don't know what and how you can help me?" was her answer.

To be honest ... this scene is nothing new to me. I saw family broken apart, blissful marriages ended up in ugly divorces, innocent men turned into murderers just because of abandoned housing projects. One time a man with parang came to my former office, just because his family threw him out because there was a delay in reviving his abandoned unit. My gut feelings told me ... there are more to it than just being thrown out of the hotel or stolen wallet.

Out of compassion, I called her niece in Singapore to confirm her mental state, then I called the tourist police to escort her to her hotel and get all her things, move her to another hotel, then I called her lawyer. It was from her lawyer that I got the whole picture and the source of her misery. Before the economic downturn in 1997 she invested about RM 300,000.00  in a timesharing program with a prominent Malaysian bank via their property arms in Penang. But then during the economic downturn, that saw the crashing of the Malaysian banking systems ...made her lost all her RM 300,000.00 investment. The property was later bought over by a new hotel company with new management. I don't know how about the buying over process but I was told that she was not listed as a creditor.

When I spoke to her niece, she told me that her aunt is a very independent woman. The last time she saw her, prior to her leaving for Penang, she seemed OK. However, the information that I got from hotels which allegedly kicked her out were the total opposite. She disturbed other guests, she always claimed her things were lost. There were times when we spoke ... she seemed OK and rational. But there were times when she broke down and keep repeating "Penang not good, Singapore better."

Deep down ... I knew that I am dealing with a very, very depress independent lady who has lost her mind over her back luck - money, property and maybe family. All alone ... in a foreign country.  Hmmm... truthfully I don't want to end up like her. Suddenly, I too felt that I should something with regards to my mental health.

Anyway, these are the findings on MENTAL HEALTH STATUS OF MALAYSIANS The 3rd National and Health Morbidity Survey (NHMS) from DHRRA website:

Findings :
•  Overall prevalence - 11.2% of adult population in Malaysia has some form of psychiatric morbidity, with the Chinese population experiencing the highest prevalence at 31.1%.
•  Gender - more females than males have psychiatric problems, with 55% of them females and 45% males.
•  Residence - psychiatric morbidity is higher among urban population than rural, 12.6% for urban population versus 8.5% for rural population.
•  Education level – it is higher among those with no education or primary education, 15-16% versus 10% for those with tertiary education.
•  Marital status – it is higher among the divorcees (13.6%); followed by singles (13.1%) widow/ widower (12.2%) and lastly those who are married (10.5%)
•    Suicidal ideation – overall prevalence of acute suicidal ideas of 6.4% with the highest among teenagers and young adults, aged 16-24 at about 11%.
•    Insomnia ( inability to sleep) – overall acute insomnia of 14% with those aged 70-74 having the highest prevalence of slightly over 20%.
The findings above, is an indication on state of mental health of adult population in Malaysia at the time of survey. It also does not pinpoint to any specific mental disorder. Measured over a longer period of time, the prevalence is much higher at 48.1% using the same screening tool ( chronic psychiatric morbidity). 

This measures the presence of symptoms over a continual or longer period of time. Chronic psychiatric morbidity is much higher among those with tertiary education and among senior officers and managers and among professionals. This could be due to the stress associated with heavier job responsibilities of these people.  (OMG!!!!)

Take care.


mocha said...

Frm the story, i gathered tht the aunty could be in early stage of alzheimer. Seen these kinda syntoms in my own family. Didnt realize until it became serious. They become obsessed over something.

norzah said...

A very disturbing account and experience there! Suicide is certainly on the rise, more due to a loss of hope and frustration with life than pressure n tension causef by society. It's only when a person has no one to turn to for help, no shoulder to cry on, no ear that's ready to hear one's frustration and grief that he or she might choose the only way out. All religion forbids it especially Islam. God is always there to listen if you have been in touch with Him.
In any case whatever the problem is , remember you've friends who arevreadybto help. Love your entry and understanding ofnthe problem.

Si Yoyop Bah... said...

Yeah, Life is too complicated. Kalau kita fikir kita ada masalah, sbnrnya ada org lain yg pya masalah yg lbh bsr dr kita. Itulah yg diberitahu oleh abg BOB hr tu kat restoran Mutiara. Haha. Stkt ni, aku dah nmpk kesan stress kat aku. Jdnya, skrg ni aku nak 'rilek2' je sbbnya ada jg kajian yg mengatakan rmi cikgu jd gila. Taknak aku.

ida said...

ah so pls taking care hahahaha

rambomadonna said...

Mocha: Now that you mentioned that, I think so too. You know she went to Biro Pengaduan Awam (BPA) to made a complaint against my office for not helping her. But the Biro officers told her that our office did the right thing because her case is already a police case and moreover she has appointed a lawyer. Then suddenly she turned up at my office saying that BPA officers instructed us to settle her problem.

Not satisfied with her answer, my deputy went down with her to meet the BPA officer that she claimed instructed us and know what... the BPA officer actually told her to see her lawyer not us ... and she said "no, i didn't remember u said that".

It was when the BPA officer answered "Miss, now you started not to remember again" ... that my deputy smell something fishy. Apparently she has been harrassing one department after another for her case, irregardless whether it is related or not. Gosh!

rambomadonna said...

Norzah: I did just that Norzah. First with you guys (Karaoke session) and recently with my friend Emel. Now it is just up to me to build up my spiritual strength. Gosh... felt helpless at times.

rambomadonna said...

Yoyop: Kau tu stress lain hehehe ... takde kaitan dengan murid-murid. Anyway, great having u around masa your last trip. Rasa terubat sikit stress pasal hand over projek Bukit bendera tu.

rambomadonna said...

Ida: I am .... trying to "taking care" of myself. Kalau tak, adalah berita pegawai PTD terjun tingkat 56 ni.

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