Mental Wellbeing

Free yourself from mental distress

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June 1, 2023

It was very courageous of me to make that last trip to Hong Kong alone, considering that I was under terrible side effects. Although I had it cut short, the purpose of the trip has been accomplished. Now I am confident enough to do it again as I have promised my mother that I would see her in mid-July. The problem of the side effects has to be dealt with and I hope that I’ll be off the Mental Health Act soon. The psychiatrists have no reason to keep me under it.

May 28, 2023

On the day when I was really down, I received an email from APRA, I quote part of it here

Dear Anne,

It is our pleasure to advise that you have been elected to Full Membership of the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA).

Your membership was approved because we were notified that there was a live performance of your music, or that royalties were earned for one of your works. Welcome to the biggest songwriting and composing community in Australia!

This just made my day, my work has been recognised.

Once I’m labelled Bipolar, it seems that I can’t get rid of the stigmatisation. These few days I have been very angry with some of my folks because when I told them the truth they refused to accept it. My lovely daughter then called me and the question she asked me was have I taken my medication, this is heartbreaking! That’s her greatest concern. Most of my siblings are afraid of me, why? They are afraid that if I come back to Hong Kong they need to take care of me and that’s a burden to them. I defended them against this accusation when my husband pointed this out, but I didn’t believe it, now I’m hundred per cent clear about this. For the past 10 years, I’ve travelled to Hong Kong and I looked after myself. I do not need them to ‘entertain’ me, so why are they so scared? I’m angry and my anger is sustained.
They just can’t accept that even bipolars can get angry too! We are just like any other, we have feelings, we can be happy and can be sad and can be angry. I need a break so I’m leaving for home earlier. I will return shortly because I’ve promised my mother that I will.

Now is a time I test myself to see if I can help myself using whatever self-help techniques, I couldn’t last time but I think I can this time. Writing it out is already a great help. This experience will prove that when I am really down, I can still weather this adversity with no one to contact. So, for those who are suffering from a difficult time, there are ways to release yourself but never give up on yourself, nothing is worth doing that!

This is what my favourite sister wrote to me after I told her the truth how some of my loved ones said and did,

Don’t we all know you love yourself at everyone close to you expense. Here I see how you so much enjoy in 搬弄是非 ! Your usual pattern is to generalize in broad statement that who speak ill of so and so without substance. And that’s your ‘truth’. I am actually see more of your selfishness in this thread. You wish you are the princess but you are nowhere near.
I am retired and I have plenty of tie to verify your truth, but if you are selling songs you better work hard now to make it to the chart. There are hundreds of songs published in Spotify, Apple, Amazon… 

Thank you, Sis! I can see through you now. This is in fact good for testing my mental health, when I can take this and don’t feel depressed or anxious that means I do not need antipsychotic meds because the psychiatrist thinks that I am having a relapse. And I am blocking you as I have heard and said enough. What you will hear about me is from social media!

May 21, 2023

Let’s open Pandora’s box
Just let everything out
Let everyone knows
What has happened
So there won’t be excuses
That all are misunderstandings
It may be dark
It may be vicious
It may be evil
It may be hurting
But at least
Everyone knows
What one has said and done
I, of course
Should be responsible for what I’ve said
And what I’ve done
I so wish everyone tells the truth
So all will 檢討

May 19, 2023

I am tired, physically
My legs feel heavy
My legs feel weak
My muscles are aching

I cannot focus
I don’t feel like reading
My spirits are dampened
Each time I visit mum

I thought I’d enjoy shopping
I thought I’d enjoy eating
I thought I'll have a good time

Seeing is believing
Mum’s bedridden
Mum’s depressed
And it seems I can’t do anything

I’m sick of complaining
It is difficult to
Stop negative thinking

I know I must pull myself together
As life goes on
No matter what

It carries
It carries
It carries
It carries
When it reaches its destination
I so wish
I, too, have a share
of its cargoes

May 15

There’s a breakthrough with Mum today. Her left arm which has been numb since her stroke is feeling pain this morning when her maid moved it in order to exercise it. She told me this was the first time she felt anything. I am so happy! Mum has been scratching her body which she claims is itchy. She scratched so hard and bruised her head and body. Very accidentally I was telling her about when we were little she used to kill fleas on our cat’s body so they wouldn’t sting us. She suddenly said ‘Kill the fleas’. I know that’s an illusion but I believe that’s what she felt so I played along, ‘killing the fleas’. I want to change her mindset - when the fleas are killed she won’t feel itchy anymore. It worked yesterday and this morning, I hope it will keep working so she won’t scratch till she breaks her skin. Again listening and trusting a patient’s belief and helping to change the mindset can be very helpful!

Goodness returned by goodness

This world is cruel to me
Loneliness creeps back constantly
Physically I suffer
Do I deserve this
Are all these necessary
Yes, I am complaining again
At least I can vent my sorrow
By writing
Although poetry should be beautiful
How can I write a pretty verse
When I don’t feel it

I have tried so hard
To make things right
I thought I could make it this time
Sorry, no, Anne
I may have a long way to go

I am running against time
And time won’t wait
Death won’t wait
How much more time I can have
To spend with my mother
To spend with those I love
I understand now
Goodness may not be returned with goodness

'The Dawn of a Dream' is on sale now. Please check Store page.

What is a choice?
Do I have it?
What is justice?
Have I got it?
It all burns down to
My being bipolar
I’m stripped of a choice
I’m stripped of justice

Why is it necessary
To have to pull back
The working of my mind
To slow it down
To stop me from focusing
And force on me
Loss of memory

It’s already bad enough
To have the tendency of falling
Not to mention other side effects
I am already physically suffering
Please free me from the working
Of my brain!

'The Dawn of a Dream' is on sale now. Please check Store page.

My music album, ‘The Dawn of a Dream’ will be on sale on my website soon. I am experiencing joy and anxiety. At last it will be ready for sale. There have been so many hiccups. A lot of time has been wasted - being in the hospital for over 50 days!

This website is tailored for mental wellbeing. It is for anyone who is suffering from depression but has no record of mental illness, it is for mental health users and anyone who is interested in this topic. Here we intend to promote mental health awareness. With our modern day hectic working environment, a lot of people are stressed and burnt out without realizing it. When the breaking point is reached, the result is usually disastrous. However, if the early symptoms are recognised correctly, appropriate and effective remedies can be applied, so that there is much less chance of real mental issues. This will benefit the workers, their colleagues and employers, the government too. But most of all, the people who love them.

The main purpose here is to educate people about mental health and its stigmatization. Why should people who have depression, psychosis or other forms of mental issues be stigmatised? They are just simply people who have been unlucky enough to fall ill, similar to people who catch cancer, diabetics and any other illness. They live and love like everyone else. So why is it that people like us be treated differently like some sort of monster to the level that we always feel we are different and have to hide our illness and suffer in silence. If people understand more about mental health, they would be more sympathetic towards us, and there will be much less discrimination and stigmatization. Anybody can have depression in their lifetime, and I hope that when they go and seek the help of the psychiatrists, they will not feel weak or abnormal. It is of the utmost importance to seek the right professional help at the earliest moment of suspicion or realisation of any mental problem. And there are ways, I can assure you that you will get well before it becomes serious.

I intend to collect as much as possible the amount of data and information on mental wellbeing. I shall place it all in a blog. I shall make my website an interesting place, like posting poetry, songs, real life stories and successes of mental illness, but most importantly, useful and true information. In addition, I hope to have inputs from mental health workers and experts. You are all welcome to put in your comments, experiences and anything you think can be of help and/or use. Your identity is protected, strictly confidential unless you wish to be otherwise. Please drop me a line on my email address if you would like to share with other people your view and thoughts on the topic.

我是個狂躁症(Bipolar Disorder)康復者,第一次發病是在四十多年前在澳洲悉尼讀書時,症狀是開始時覺得異常興奮,好像自己變了非常非常有錢,接下來轉為很恐慌,好像受到了當時共產黨的迫害,這些症狀在治療後消失了,但卻轉為了陷入長期抑鬱症,這個惡性循環在每次復發時出現,揮之不去,我在廿多年前移民到紐西蘭奧克蘭市,很快舊病又復發了,當我回復清醒,不再胡思亂想時,我就想到如果我要好好地生活下去,我一定要自我幫助,於是我便進入大學讀書來充實自己,經過九年漫長的辛勞,我在五十七歲時,取得了文學學士的學位, 自從我決定走上自我充實的路後,我感覺到每一天都充滿了活力,不再整天都賴在床上,無精打彩,無事可做了,我再也不會寂寞,不會對任何事都不感興趣了。我開始重拾過愛,像閱讀,寫作,練字和繪畫,跳舞,聽音樂,彈琴和運動。我成功地打破了那惡性循環,不會再胡思亂想了。我也不再抑鬱,不再恐慌。每天的生活都是充滿意義和活動的。藥物是醫治精神病的必需品。尤其是在危機時刻,但它們大多數是祗能治標而不能治本的。我認為除了身體上對藥物的需要外,病人其實在心理上也需要有所輔助。例如像去找一些自己較為喜歡的活動,嗜好等等,細心培養,讓它能夠可以發展到帶來歡樂,甚至得到有成就感。而有效地消除或減輕抑鬱。當我們達到有成就感時,自然就會有相應的動力。如果每天起來都感覺到自己充滿活力,那就自然不會有任何抑鬱了。這是我自己應用的自強,而有效的方法,大家可以作為參考。成就感是恢復信心的強項,對疾病的康復,有極大的幫助。如果病者的日常生活情況轉好,那麼医生就會減輕用藥的份量,那麼這些藥的副作用就會減少了。治療精神病的藥是很昂貴的,同時也有不少的副作用。如果能有效地運用這些心理協調的策略來減少服用藥物份量,那麼就不但會對病人有好處,而且也可以減少政府在医藥上的經濟負擔。

我這網站是讓需要舒發心中不快,抑鬱者或有關於我復完的問题都可在這 anneho51@gmail.com問我。 -切將是保密。

This is my story, how I attempted suicide, how I was saved, how I love life afterwards.

I am inspired by ‘nuggets of gold’ to share my story of suicide attempt. With this sharing I hope it will help those who harbour such thoughts.

I had been promoted at work and I loved my job. The future of my career seemed promising. I worked so hard, stayed behind always, even worked on holidays and brought work home. What I didn’t realise is that the stress was creeping into my body and mind. I relapsed again. I never told my boss or colleagues that I was seeing a psychiatrist for fear of losing my job. This time I could no longer hide because of my long absence from work. When I came right I went back to work with the idea that I was still a treasured employee. The first day back at work I was turned into a ‘furniture’. I was not to resume my old responsibilities but was put there because it was difficult to fire me. I was angry.The next morning I went back to the office and resigned. And I stayed home until that day:

In the morning I felt depressed, so I went to see my psychiatrist. Nothing much was done to help me to alleviate my mood apart from, I was told later, telling my parents to take precaution. The side effects of my medication came to me again, some side effects that frightened me for years and I was so afraid that it would stay till the day I die. 

‘If I have to suffer this side effect, I would be better off dead,’ I said to my husband. He hugged me but not realising the significance of what that could be.

I remembered that there was a tin of caustic powder which we used to unblock our toilet in the bathroom. Having that in mind, I called a relative hoping to talk to her but could not get hold of her. I went into the bathroom, locked the door, took out the tin of caustic, put some into a cup used for rinsing the mouth, diluted it in tap water and drank it. My throat was burning and it was unbearable, I had to rush out of the bathroom. My husband saw what happened, he quickly took me back to the bathroom, ran water from the tap of the bathtub into my mouth. I remembered he was crying.

My aunt was living just one floor below. My cousin who was a health inspector came up and upon checking that we had three bottles of milk urged my husband to make me drink the milk. The ambulance came, paramedics with a stretched bed took me to the hospital. Outside the hospital waiting were my parents. I could see the concern on their faces. Once inside the hospital the vicious cycle returned - my fear of the communists. I was put in bed in the emergency ward. There were nurses dressed in red uniforms and I associated red with communism. I screamed. I kicked. They had to tie me to my bed. When a nurse dressed in red came close I used abusive language to stop her from coming near. I was fiercely thirsty and demanded water but was left unattended to. Like this the whole night went by. In the morning my parents came, they arranged my discharge and took me instead to a private hospital. 

When my throat no longer hurt I returned home only to discover that my esophagus was narrowed and I could not swallow food. I was sent to a surgeon who suggested widening my esophagus. The operation, however, was not successful and instead the organ was broken. The surgeon referred me to another surgeon to have a major operation. My esophagus was removed, instead part of my stomach was severed and was swung up to connect with my throat and the stomach had to be moved further up, food would go through my throat and into my stomach. My act of the suicide attempt had also brought me not just a lot of physical pain but also a lot of after effects. Up till today I still constantly choke on food which was embarrassing and also brought me great discomforts. Since this episode I promised myself that no matter how hard life may be I will make sure I will not have any suicide attempt. There had been long periods of depression but I struggled on. Life is precious and I am glad I was saved.

To suffer from Bipolar Disorder was actually a blessing in disguise for me. It was because of a relapse some twenty odd years ago that I have rediscovered and further discovered my passions and in developing these passions I attain achievements which is very important to me because I have gained back my confidence, my self-worthiness and motivation. I no longer suffer from depression.

I have gone through lots of pain and I can feel the pain of those who are in the same boat which is why I always reach out to friends or whoever who are going through mental health issues. If my story can help in prevention of suicide, I will be thrilled.

Where to find help and support:

Shine - 0508 744 633

Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843

Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737

What's Up - 0800 942 8787

Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234,

Samaritans - 0800 726 666

Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757

Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865


I used to hide my mental illness because this is not something glorious to tell others, shameful and I thought I would lose friends as they may think that I'm dangerous. I stigmatized myself as well.  It is only when I had a relapse here years ago that I become open about my illness and I've discovered that most of my friends accept me as I am. It has been a long journey to come to how I am now - well and happy. I, as a Chinese, understand why we hide about our mental health and I'd love to help my fellow Chinese; of course, I'd love to help whoever experiences the illness.

I don't think I had dreams. What I wanted was to study well, had a good job and made a comfortable living. Then I failed at school, couldn't get into university and experienced mental illness which almost took away everything from me. But, I came to New Zealand, a relapse enlightened me. I wanted to get well. I started by self-actualization. With a goal in life, I not only gained back my passions, but I've also discovered several more. I struggle. I begin to have dreams. I become motivated and I no longer suffer from depression. Life is good!


I do get a lot of anxiety these days because I am working on a huge project. Anxiety hits me throughout the day and if I let it get its way I believe I would already have a relapse; but I do, and have quite a few ways to help me out of it. I do all the things I love doing like writing poetry, dancing, singing, drawing… The most recent one, one that works well, is to study. When I concentrate on studying I’m distracted from whatever anxiety I have. The important thing is to make an initiative to do something. I truly understand that most of the time when I feel anxious I don’t really want to do anything, thinking that nothing can help, but I make myself to do them and once I’ve started I find solace. It works for me every time which is why I would like to share my experience with someone who needs it. Don’t let anxiety overtake you, do something you love or you use to love, you will be surprised how it can take you out of distress.


I have written a musical and I have come to the stage of fundraising. I have chosen crowdfunding via Boosted NZ. Please support by donation and/or share. Many thanks!

This is my last attempt. I have written a musical ‘Reach Out’. It is a play about mental health, racism, discrimination, love, and forgiveness... and I have been trying to put it on stage, but with no funding, I can’t employ anyone to have it done since I don’t believe in rounding up volunteer workers. Even though I have tried again and again to get some funds which have been total failures, I now decide to form a team of artists who have experiences of mental illness but are fit to work to help out. I cannot promise a handsome fee but meals will be provided whenever we are at work. Any income from the play will be shared. And you will be having a goal to work on, a chance to bring back confidence and motivation, and a chance to show your capability. What I provide will be my script, my music, my passion and I can assure you my hard work as well. Whoever is interested please send me a message on Facebook or email me ( If this time again I do not receive any response I will bury my script and forget all about it.

September 28, 2021

It has been particularly difficult for me today. I am feeling quite restless. I believe it has a lot to do with the lockdown. Everyday I check on the number of new cases and am anxious to find out if there has been progress in fighting against the Delta variant. Although I have been taking all this quite well, but six weeks is a long period to handle. I have played the piano, watched movies, YouTube, just to distract myself from the feeling of being trapped. So I plead everyone who can take the vaccination go for yours. It will help us to move out of lockdowns. In the meantime, those who are finding it difficult to face the lockdown, act to help yourself. There are many ways of distracting yourself from bad feelings. I won’t give up on using whatever ways I can to stay well, and there are many, just search for them. Take care!

I did a cartoon which took me less than 15 minutes, but my good mood returns and I can concentrate in doing stuffs. Hoorah!

October 17, 2021

The prolonged level three really got me. For several days I was feeling unhappy and stopped doing things I used to love doing. I buried myself in movies, YouTubes all day so that I don’t think or work. I let myself have a few days of holiday, not that I was enjoying them, it was just to pass time. I understand that the lockdown is necessary in order to fight against Covid-19 and yet I longed for my freedom. My mood was like a rollercoaster. Very fortunately, this lasted only for several days, and now I am back on track.  I continue doing what I enjoy, practicing on the piano, reading, studying. It’s like I’m alive again. So, anyone out there who has anxiety and/or depression because of the lockdown, help yourself, go back to do the things you love and/or take a holiday as I did; talk to a friend, go out for walks and remember to go for the vaccination if you haven’t had it yet. When the numbers are high enough we will get our freedom!

I shared the following on Facebook two years ago but thought I should shared it here as well.

I have been experiencing fleeting moments of depression whenever negative thoughts come into my mind. Like when I am stressed while doing something difficult; or when bad memories appear, and worst still even when there is no reason to or triggers at all. This can happen as many as three or four times a day. My way of dealing with it is to stop them right at the beginning and not allowing them to develop and aggregate any further. By switching my thoughts immediately to something more pleasant, or do some of my favourite activities. Sometimes even a simple distraction of making a drink can work. Usually the depression is gone within a very short period of time. This works for me because I have been practicing these remedies for years. I am not expecting somebody else can do it as fast as I do . But through constant and persistent learning, experimenting, making improvements and adjustment, one can surely quicken this "divert and calm down" time significantly. I remember way back during my fourth relapse. I was in a really bad way with my family for quite a while. The worst thing was that I did absolutely nothing to help. I was like a puddle of mud, no thoughts, no action, no nothing. But once I was determined to get myself out of it by my own effort, and despite heaps of failures and disappointments, I did my very best to stand up and tried again. And after each time I fell, and there were many many times,it took less and less time for me to pick myself up, stand tall and try again.

This crisis we are facing can bring a lot of stress, restlessness, anxiety to people like us but this will be over so we should try to keep well and find ways to cope and be patient. Once this is over you will, I’m sure, feel even better, stronger than before as you have overcome something so difficult and devastating. I do!

Being me

I was filled with guilt
I was terribly shy
I was embarrassed
to admit being pretty
I was embarrassed
to admit I was smart
I had a paranoia
which followed me for 50 years

today I’m proud to say
I’ve outgrown my guilt
I’ve outgrown my shyness
I’ve chucked away my paranoia
I feel beautiful inside out

I’ve learned to be kind
I’ve learned to be generous
I’ve turned brave
I must admit that I’m also intelligent

I am not afraid to show the world
Who I am
And being me is the best thing
I’ve done to myself!

Love is my worst enemy

I have been on antipsychotic medications for years.
Gradually the side effects took over.
They got out of hand,
a major concern.
I couldn’t even walk properly.

I could bear anything
except not daring to hold my grandson
in fear of him falling down, being hurt.
No! Something had to be done.
My ex-GP was not helping,

so I took things into my own hands.
Without letting anybody know
I had a plan,
I would reduce the medication bit by bit
until I could stop taking it.

When I received good results,
I would gain credibility.
I had this all planned out.
I kept a journal
documenting my mood

and my physical wellbeing
for the psychiatrist’s viewing.
After a month without medication,
I began to gain back balance.
I didn’t have reflux.

I could focus.
My memory improved.
Everything pointed to a good beginning.
This plan included
getting help from my ex-psychiatrist,

someone who had helped me greatly
in my recovery.
The plan matured.
I tried to contact my ex-psychiatrist.
Some days passed

with no reply.
Still waiting.
Full of confidence.
That night, at my daughter’s place,
we were happily gathered,

dancing, cheering.
Then I put a stop to all the joviality
by exposing my secret.
They all,
my husband, my daughter, my son-in-law,

Angry words
came out from every mouth.
The Pandora’s box was opened.
Harsh words, accusations, pointing fingers

rushed out.
It was one of the worst times I have ever experienced.
To stop them from worrying
I offered myself up for slaughter and
sought out the help of the crisis team.

I arranged to see the hospital’s psychiatrist.
I was still hopeful.
They are experts.
Surely they’ll understand.
I’m in good hands.

Finally, they gave me an appointment
after delaying twice.
I knew my file would be huge
because it had been more than 30 years
since I was diagnosed with schizophrenia,

only to be told later
it was bipolar disorder.
Surely the assigned psychiatrist
wouldn’t see the whole picture.
Very intelligently I wanted to fill in gaps.

I told them what achievements I have had.
I told them I haven’t had depression for years.
I told them how motivated I am.
All in all
I told them how I have recovered,

information I thought would help.
But they were terribly busy.
The backlog of patients has always been huge.
All they wanted
was for me to resume taking medication.

Then my file would be closed.
They could move to work on other patients.
After three consultations,
they thought it’s time to take action,
to force me back on to medication.

After rejecting them,
the psychiatrist applied to put me
under the Mental Health Act.
The cheeky psychiatric nurse
said stupid things,

asked me to wait in the room
for security guards.
I was calm and clear headed.
My question was,
‘Will I be taken to the hospital now?’

She said, ‘No, it’s just routine.’
A staff member came in.
I didn’t really know why.
To make sure I wouldn’t fly?
However, the staff member and I

held an interesting and intelligent conversation.
Finally, someone did come.
Not the security guard,
but a consultant and another two staff.
I was read my rights.

The consultant listened to my story,
also to my husband’s.
After more than an hour’s consultation,
he turned to my hubby and said
‘I have no grounds to put your wife under the Mental Health Act.

I have no grounds to enforce her to take medication.’
He also said to me, ‘I hope time will sort things out for you.’
I felt gratified.
Yes, time.
It’s time that I need, and not meds.

After that the psychiatric nurses called
from time to time
to check on my sleep,
to check on my wellness.
I needed to see psychiatric nurses

and consultants every now and then.
I repeated my story
time and time again.
The story was consistent
because I wasn’t lying.

They were satisfied.
My hubby was with me
at each of these meetings.
To my dismay,
he was drowning

in the idea that as long as I was taking meds
I’d be okay.
Harsh words, harsh attitudes
came my way every day.
I know he loves me and he’s worried,

but love turned out to be my worst enemy.
My loved ones worried
because they love me.
But all they wanted
was for me to resume taking medication.

They disregard the horrific side effects I am facing.
I got angry.
I fought with them all and
stuck to my belief.
All this struggle

put pressure on me,
but I held on.
I was strong.
After I convinced the consultant
that I was OK

without medicine,
he told me if they discharged me,
I’d be under the care of my GP.
He even said
He’d arrange a meeting

for me to meet my ex-psychiatrist
since I trusted him so much.
I was greatly relieved and
thought I would be discharged soon.
How wrong was I!

One day
after being torn apart
by my loved ones at home,
which I had hoped to be my sanctuary,
a place to recuperate,

I decided to move out,
at least for a while.
It was at an exhibition
held in my school, an NGO.
I tried so hard to find a place

to stay but didn’t succeed.
I offered to provide entertainment
by playing on the piano
to attract visitors.
I played, not from any composition,

just let my fingers go
and depending on my ears.
I didn’t know I had this talent
until then.
I can keep playing

for as long as I want to
with no ending
and starting on any key.
And I only passed grade three
in piano training.

What went wrong that day?
I thought I was discharged.
I was so happy.
I posted on Facebook.
What went terribly wrong?

My daughter sent messages out
telling everybody I was not OK.
With anger.
With heightened emotions
built up.

When it was time for the school to close,
I lost control.
I didn’t want to go,
but I had nowhere to go.
I insisted that the psychiatrists

come and see
how a genius works.
My husband wanted to take me back to the hospital.
I refused,
standing across the road.

It was raining.
I was screaming.
He was on the phone talking to whoever.
I didn’t care.
‘We can’t come as the protocol does not allow it.’

That’s the response
from the psychiatrists.
I insisted.
Finally, I said they had to get the police to take me.
Two policemen came.

One talked to me.
I told him my story.
They talked me into going with them.
They took me back to the police station.
What they put me through,

like searching my body
to make sure I did not hide anything
which I could use to harm me,
was humiliating.
I was tired, agitated, provoked.

I waited for hours
before two teams of psychiatrists and nurses arrived.
I talked to the first team
who seemed kind.
I told them my story.

I told them
all I needed was a place to stay
for a couple of days
till I found a place,
because I did not want to go home,

which I considered a sick place.
They seemed sympathetic
and I was hopeful.
The second team came.
After talking to me,

they at once put me under the Mental Health Act.
I was taken to Waitakere Hospital.
When I got there,
they put me in a room.
I had a good night’s sleep,

woke up and gained back my senses,
but I had already jeopardised my plan.
During the stay in the hospital,
I fought with the psychiatrist
over medication, over his diagnosis.

With a cell phone,
I searched for information.
I checked the symptoms of bipolar disorder
in the DSM-V.
Armed with research and knowledge

I debated with him.
At each meeting
I asked him questions
which he wouldn’t or couldn’t answer.
All the more I believed that I was right.

In the hospital
I talked to patients.
Every time I was with a patient
a senior staff was nearby,
listening to our conversations.

Then he told me
I have the power of connecting with patients.
So what?
I was still not discharged,
not allowed

to stop taking medication.
But I made a lot of friends,
staff and patients,
via poetry, music and art.
It was time for me to leave the hospital

as I had nothing more to do
to help the others,
and I was bored.
I succumbed to resuming medication
and left the hospital.

I became an outpatient.
The dosage was high.
All the side effects resumed,
and worse than before.
I was assigned

a new psychiatrist and psychiatric nurse.
I told them my worries about the side effects,
how bad my balance was,
the problems with my heart,
the diabetes,

my immunity,
how my life would be shortened.
I was fighting for my life in actual fact.
They did not listen.
My psychiatrist refused to acknowledge

all these were side effects,
not just ailments of old age.
The psychiatric nurse told me I’m very intelligent,
but for God’s sake,
why then didn’t they listen to my plea?

In the meantime,
I researched and studied my case.
I studied Open Dialogue theory.
I studied about psychosocial strategies.
I studied mindfulness.

I studied Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
I pleaded my psychiatrist to reduce my meds
in a safe environment,
giving her my sound evidence.
She wouldn’t listen.

She wouldn’t even see me
or answer my letter.
The psychiatric nurse argued with me.
She told me mental illness could not be cured.
I had no other option

but to make complaints.
I complained about the irresponsible neurologist
who rejected my psychiatrist’s request
to give me an appointment
to test if it was Sodium Valproate

that was causing my loss of balance.
To which he wrote back
and refused my psychiatrist’s request.
I made a complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner
about my psychiatrist,

giving sound evidence.
They took my case.
Finally, my psychiatrist decided to discharge me
from the Mental Health Act
and left it to me

whether I wanted to take meds.
That very night
I stopped all meds.
My GP told me to make an appointment to see him
in eight weeks.

I learned that it would take at least four weeks
for me to detox.
So, during those eight weeks
I kept a journal,
documenting my sleep, my mood, my physical wellbeing.

Before seeing my GP I emailed it to him,
so he could see
I don’t do things impulsively.
I do plan.
My blood tests after stopping the meds

had never been so good.
All my abnormalities became normal.
Even my uric acid level,
though my ex-GP had bet her life
it was gout

and not Olanzapine
which heightened the uric acid level.
But, since stopping the medicine,
I experienced verbal abuse every day.
And from who else

but my husband
who loves me?
And all my loved ones agree with him.
Yes, they all love me,
but they refuse to walk with me

through my most difficult times.
They believe I am in good hands
under the care of experts.
They refused to read information
I sent them

to help them understand
my situation.
Every day I was under pressure.
Not happy, I would not rest my mind.
But I learned important things

like being independent,
taking care of myself,
gaining back my confidence,
making good decisions.
When I was well enough,

I went back to Hong Kong
to visit my mother.
I could even take her on a cruise
all by myself.
My balance was good.

My memory was good.
My focus had never been better.
But I wasn’t welcomed by my family,
except my mother.
She loves me.

I love her dearly.
But I began to be honest with her
for the first time ever,
which angered her,
and she was disappointed in me.

However, she still loves me,
and I love her just the same.
But I was not happy.
I couldn’t sleep.
I couldn't eat.

I was losing weight.
I cried a lot.
I longed to come back to my hubby
so I could have a shoulder to cry on.
I was in a terrible state

both spiritually and physically.
I came back.
But on the way home from the airport
we started to argue heatedly.
I was determined to leave him,

but for the first time ever
he said sorry.
Yes, for the first time.
I once again forgave him.
I needed his love.

But I was still unhappy.
He was not much help.
Instead I felt pushed into misery.
I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep.
I lost seven to eight kilos.

Until one day I decided to leave him.
I ran away.
I felt relieved.
I was happy.
I thought now my love for him had died.

I was set free.
I planned to look after myself.
That night in a motel,
I had a short relapse.
I called an ambulance

which took me back to the hospital
where I spent roughly 50 days.
When I was discharged,
I gladly went back
to my husband’s embrace.

What happened during the 50 days
needs another tale.
What has changed?
My husband’s attitude.
He has become a loving husband,

and we argue much, much less.
I’m a much happier person, and so is he.
Despite the side effects
I take my meds.
My psychiatrist is happy.

My loved ones are happy.
Though my conviction
is different from my psychiatrist’s,
I listen to her.
It makes a difference to my world,

I choose love over anger,
which helps me bear the physical discomforts.
I am waiting patiently
for the day they are convinced
of my beliefs.

There are better ways
than just antipsychotic meds
to help patients recover,
and I intend to work on this.
I vowed at my book launch

that I’ll spend the rest of my life
to help the mentally ill and the depressed,
and this promise I will keep.
I am lucky to be loved.
For every recovery

there has to be support and love.
I have reconciled with my psychiatrist.
I trust that she is fulfilling her duties.
No matter what my belief
my life has become better and better

and I look forward to a bright and happy future.


Sitting under the sun
Baking in heat and solitude
My mind paused from thoughts
Ignoring what’s happening around
Tiredness streamed out in sweat
A pleasant feeling
From head to toe
I’m no longer imprisoned
In day-to-day woes

This is my song as a gesture of fighting against stigmatisation, enjoy!

The statement for the donations and the distribution is now shown in the link for the song 'The Beast and the Snake'

April 7, 2023

My key worker came to my home to give me the injection. This was the first time we didn't argue about side effects and we talked a lot of other things. We talked about tea drinking, we talked about my trip to France, we talked about my grandchildren, we talked about education... She even asked me to play the piano. This is a great way to know your patients and I think she's done it beautifully.

You should have gun control
Much earlier
Look at those victims
Their number is growing fast
Your people don’t know
When will be their turn to die

It is scary
To not feel safe
Living in their own country

Those who hinder the
Gun control
Have they got no wits
Apart from earning more
What if, one day
A loved one of yours
Also become a victim!

Saturday Lunch

I walked outside
Took a deep breath
Let the sunshine showered
Over me
Nothing bothered me
Right now
This was the break
Which I needed

A poem

A poem takes away the negativity
A poem takes away anxiety
A poem releases my sorrow
And it only takes to write one

Life is good once again

The cramps are gone
Gout has not returned
The trip to Hong Kong is near
To see my mother again
Will soon be realised

We go for walks
We talk
We watch movies together
We watch TV together
Our relationship is getting better

Things seem to improve
Things are coming together
There is no reason for tears
I am happy
Life is good once again!

Thanks to Olanzapine my gout returns. I am still waiting for my psychiatrist to give me an answer in regard to what symptom/s I have to sustain their putting me under the mental health act.

It is easy to fall into the trap of feeling depressed when one is physically unwell. I was very motivated, confident, happy and then suddenly I have gout. This pain which I believed I shouldn’t be having started me ruminating. I began to feel how I was wrongly treated by psychiatrists who made me retake the injection of Olanzapine. Then about work, I came across some problems. I began to feel sad, unhappy, angry and it seems to me that it’s not fair to me to have all these troubles. I almost lost motivation. Fortunately, after taking Ibuprofen the gout pain has eased. I begin to reason things out. I feel much better. I begin to keep on with my work.

So what I’m saying is that being physically unwell can lead to mentally depressed, but if we understand why we are led to that situation and we find ways to solve our problems we will not delve into negativity and then we can bounce back. At the moment what I need to fight for is my physical well-being and when I’m physically well I won’t have that many chances of falling into the trap of depression. I hope this experience of mine can help those who experience similar situations - don’t let negativity takes over. Solve the problem!

April 24,2023

It is the 20th day since my injection of Olanzapine. This morning I went to badminton. In the beginning, I was enjoying it so much but after like 5 minutes my heart was beating rapidly, I was short of breath, my body was feeling pain (this is something new) and I just couldn’t continue playing. After lunch while walking to the car, just 10 minute's walk, my heart was beating again; for Christs' sake, it was just 10 minutes walk! Why am I like that? I need answers and yet no psychiatrists or doctors want to furnish me with that. I thought okay, this time the side effects are not that bad so having the injection should be alright. No, it is not! And yet no medical professional can give me one single ground that I should be under the Mental Health Act! They simply said I had a long history and based on that they override all my rights - ‘either you take the treatment or we will send the police to put you in the hospital!’ Is this fair?!

the goblet

to drink from such a goblet
bitter and sweet
pride as enormous as edifice
disseminate in an instance
we drink pride
we drink prejudice
we drink love
we drink hatred
what think you of Hamlet

peer pressure is hard to swallow
some drink it
notoriously bitter
it takes courage
but an inflected valour

truth is only in one's belief
until it's shown

authority commands obedience
I'd rather not comply
when it's outrageous
silence is submission
make your own choice
Thomas More
his silence cannot save him
his poor soul

life is drinking from a goblet
how you drink it
it's totally on you

I've grown to love life
despite pain
there is lots of joy

April 26, 2023
The following are taken from literature on the Rights under the Mental Health Act, I am quoting only a few which is relatable to my case,

People who come under the Mental Health Act
. must have a mental illness (I’m still waiting for the answer from psychiatrists to prove that I have a mental illness)
.must present a serious danger to themselves or others and/or at serious self neglect due to their mental illness (please psychiatrists prove that I am one of them)

Compulsory Treatment Order
If the psychiatrist believes the person is .. no longer a serious danger to themselves..others or at serious self neglect, they .. be released from the MHA.

The above are the most important and so I quote them, there are others which are useful to my case as well but the above are enough to show that I shouldn’t be under the MHA.

Mental Health Act is inhumane

The outcome of this court case is important to all patients presently under the Mental Health Act. This Act is inhumane. Psychiatrists have all the authority to override the patients' rights. It is ridiculous to give patients their rights when they cannot access them!

Business on Mental Health

I have made a commitment some years ago about starting a business on mental health. I have a plan and I am now inviting people who are interested to be involved to join my team. Feedback has come back from my mentor from the Chamber of Commerce and friends who like the plan. It is an ambitious one, no doubt, but I am confident it will work. It is one of my dreams to be able to help those who are suffering from mental health issues and I believe this dream will come true.

Here is my plan:

My business plan for mental health

Concept - twofold

One is to sell to private firms and corporations services regarding mental health.
Services include educating the employees, managers, employers about symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, such that they are aware and will take action at the very beginning.
To train the managers to be alert of the symptoms and offer help to the staff in need. This can be done in many ways, through talks by experts; by those who have lived experience and have recovered, which will be very convincing; to work on countering stigmatisation and discrimination in the office; to run programmes (will work out what kind of programmes) to the effect.

Secondly, which is also complementary to the first by forming teams of experts which include psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists, peer support workers, counsellor, researchers to provide therapies to those who have mental health issues which are similar to the Open Dialogue approach, Hearing voices approach, Shared Decision Making; introducing psychosocial strategies, run programmes for them (my research paper: Can psychosocial strategies replace antipsychotic medications.

Work closely with psychiatrists (who work for hospitals or private practice), GPs, aiming at reducing and slowly withdrawing of antipsychotic medications, applying holistic measures. Let their psychiatrists decide on the medications; when there is progress shown in the condition of the patients, reduction of medication will be asked for.

I also intend to work on psychoeducation. Educate those who have mental health issues, educate their carers which is very important. Educate students. Educate the general public.

Some of the programmes I have in mind

Run courses on psychoeducation, invite professionals/doctors/counsellors/academics/educators to partake
(those with lived experiences to tell their stories of recovery which is very convincing)
Run classes on self-help techniques (this involves suggestions from those with lived experience, any technique that has helped them)
Work hands-on with patients or anyone who has mental health issues to develop their passions/anything they are good at, help them to achieve, bring back motivation to their lives (peer support workers will be someone good to be involved)

Provide employment

I will try to employ as many as possible those who have experiences with mental health issues. Peer support workers will be employed to work with patients. Those involved in projects on helping patients to achieve, to be motivated, to recover will be paid (including patients).

Needs funding

Will apply for funding (government ones, NGOs such as Lotteries Grant, crowdfunding…)

Create a team

This is the beginning of putting my plan into action. I need think tank, professionals… to help me with this plan. Certainly, I cannot do it all on my own, so anyone who is interested please message or email me.

  • Auckland, New Zealand

Will welcome feedback.

This is L'amour, a song I've composed. It is arranged by Robert Hamp, he added in 10 different musical instruments to turn it into interesting.


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