Healthcare Society Sustainability

Breaking the Stigma on Mental Health

Healthcare Society Sustainability
  • The subject of mental health is often swept under the rug due to social and cultural stigmas attached to the topic.

In an effort to raise awareness on the ongoing issue of mental health, we reached out to our Sunway colleagues to anonymously open up about their mental health stories with hopes it gives them, and inspire those who are struggling with mental health, the avenue to express and help themselves.

I discovered I had Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder…

“I always found myself different from others – I can be very structured, I group things according to colours or sizes or types. Initially, I thought I was just raised differently because my siblings don’t behave like me while growing up.

Soon later, I discovered I had Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Sometimes, it’s tiring. You need plenty of time to make sure everything is in the right position. Today, I’m more aware of my mental health needs.

I’m grateful that I’m still high-functioning. I try to work with what I have because mental disorder is a no-joke. If you don’t acknowledge it, nobody will. If you are struggling – find help. Remember, you are important.”


Mental health

Mental illnesses such as OCD affect millions of people. Understanding and treating your condition is key to living a normal, healthy life. Credit:

– Ameera, Female, 26

Dealing with High-Functioning Depression

“You are a warrior – everyone of you. I’ve been diagnosed with high functioning depression. I’m grateful to still be able to get out of bed and start the day while some are struggling. Trust me when I say mental health problems do exist.

Mental health

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Some people are bitter about mental disorders because they cannot see and understand it. They think you’re weak and ungrateful, when you are actually just in pain. People engage in various practices to ease the pain whether it be through therapy or medication.

Do what makes you happy. Have conversations and practice mindfulness. Thanks a lot to Aiman Psikologis for spreading awareness about mental health. REmember: you are a warrior. You are not alone. You are an inspiration.”


-Female, 34

Hope, the source of your greatest strength

“As dark and bleak the future is in the eyes of hopelessness, it is difficult to augur what is to come. Your bad days linger for years, but the good ones go by swiftly in seconds.

In these moments, you lay in bed, crying your soul out knowing no help is there. But I am stronger than this. My destiny is mine to write. I shall be a lighthouse during the dire situations.

I’ll be that shoulder you can cry on when your thoughts float into oblivion. You are not alone. Always know that your strength comes from the kindness within you – that is the quintessence of HOPE.”

-Male, 26

Mental health

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Knowing that there are people who care makes a difference

“Whether it was depression or anxiety, I kept it all to myself. Luckily for me, I had close friends and family who experienced depression and anxiety attacks so I understood the importance of having a support system. It all started with the work stress.

Then I began questioning my self-worth and my future. I was stuck in a downward spiral. I lost my appetite, withdrew from social interactions, became moody, sad, cried at night, etc. Thank God my close friends started to noticed and encouraged me to talk about it. It was tough at first because I felt ashamed of what I did not achieve.

Breaking the Stigma on Mental Health

When you feel bad, even if you feel embarrassed, confiding in a friend or voicing your struggles can lighten your burden and begin a process of ending your unhappiness.

Glad to say I have managed to eventually break out of it. It’s still a work in progress. But knowing that there are people whom I trust, who care about me without judgment, makes a difference.”

-Female, 34

Combating domestic violence trauma

“I am a survivor of domestic violence. I was newly married when I joined Sunway. I lived through abuse – emotional, physical and sexual almost on a daily basis. Dealing with my former spouse was like walking on eggshells. I was beaten up and threatened with my life.

Breaking the Stigma on Mental Health

Just because someone’s condition is not visible, does not mean it isn’t real. Image credit:

To deal with the trauma, I sought psychiatric help and regular counselling sessions at my own financial expense. But the incident severely affected me – my self-esteem plummeted and I became suicidal, blaming myself daily for what had happened. Organisations can help victims and survivors by providing support in terms of information resources, referrals, and intervention – where available.

– Male, 45

Don’t suffer in silence. Let’s #endthestigma #speakyourmind #mentalhealthmatters. Seek help before it’s too late.


This article first appeared in Berita Sunway Issue 65

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