Living with depression and schizophrenia has not been easy.
When I first started complaining about my head to my family in 2015, they took me to the hospital, where a doctor recommended an MRI scan. The MRI came out clear, but my migraines persisted. It was suggested to my parents that I should see a psychiatrist. They said they had never thought about it. They didn’t know where to go, or who would be best.
We chose a well-known hospital in Bangkok, which had a small psychiatric department of just two rooms. I saw a doctor there for a few months, but I never got along with him. I felt that he didn’t understand me, and he told me to do things that didn’t feel like my “natural instinct”, if that makes sense.
As time went by, nobody understood what was going on with me, especially when I started hallucinating. My family thought that I was possessed and the best thing to do was to take me to see a ghost doctor. Not being a believer, that only made matter worse.
In December 2015, without telling my parents, I signed myself into a proper psychiatric hospital. I started seeing a doctor and a counsellor. They understood me more, and for the first time in eight months, I felt like I wasn’t alone. I finally told my parents that I was now visiting a psychiatric hospital.
By the time I saw a proper doctor, my condition had worsened. I was diagnosed with major chronic depression and schizophrenia, because I kept hallucinating. I started receiving diagnoses from December 2015, but by March 2016, my mental health had deteriorated badly. I was self-harming and talking about suicide during my hospital sessions. This prompted the doctor to prescribe me electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). There were only three hospitals in Bangkok, according to the information we had, that delivered ECT. All three were government hospitals.
My ECT treatment started in April 2016. I remember having to leave home at 6am to arrive and wait my turn, which usually came around 10am. I would wake up after my treatment at around 12.30pm, then go home. After receiving ECT 36 times, I was on the road to getting better. However, because of all the medicines I had been taking, I had gained 40kgs by then. This made it too dangerous to continue performing ECT on me. After two years of treatment, I have now gained 65kgs.
With everything that was going on with me, I decided to commit suicide in 2017. Saved by my parents, I was later admitted into the hospital for therapy again. Once I was out, I decided to leave Thailand for a couple of months to take care of myself.
As I was away from the environment I felt toxic to me, I was getting better. After 2.5 months when I came back to Thailand towards the end of 2017, I felt better. However that didn’t lasted long. I started going down the dark path again.
In June 2018, I decided to commit suicide again. However this time I tried calling the suicide hotline before doing on and my call wasn’t answered. In split seconds, I was back in the hospital again.
Once I came out, I was angry that no one answered my call when I needed them. So I tried calling the suicide hotline again and I took me 4 trials (over a period of 4 days) to get in touch with them. They told me the shortage of volunteers that they are facing when compared to the growing number of callers. As a back-up they gave me another number that I can called, which I tried right away and after 5 minutes, no one answered my call.
With all that I went through, understanding the importance of having someone to listen to you in time of need, understanding that being able to talk to someone can be a matter of life or death and understanding the overwhelming number of suicide cases, I decided to use start Sati App, an on-demand listening services.