All posts by huibee

Grieving the death of a child

It is a very sad story to tell. I guess any parents can try to relate, but will never understand how it is like to lose a child, no matter what the age of the child is when it happens. It is also an experience no parent would want to go through.

Saturday is their family, the wife and her family’s. Husband wasn’t around. So she took her daughter to join her mother, brother and sister for dinner. There were also children of her brother and sister. They squeezed in one car to get to the place for dinner. The brother who drove the car parked the car opposite of the restaurant, and they had to cross a major road with 3 lanes each direction. So the group got off the car and crossed together, with another uncle who was also there. They thought it was clear and safe. But everything happened just in split second, a motorcycle sped passed, her daughter and her were hit. Her legs were injured, she couldn’t move, and she can’t see where her daughter was, as she was dragged by the motorcycle to few metres away. The brother brought the daughter to the hospital nearby immediately. She was sent to hospital later.

The husband rushed to the hospital after receiving the news. He knew thing is bad seeing the wife in the wheelchair and daughter no where to be seen. She was shaking. Husband tried to keep himself calm thinking there are probably many decisions to be made.

Daughter was then pronounced dead.

She was 6 years old, and would never grow older than that. The only child of this couple, was going to start primary school in a few months. They were also planning for another conception this year, bringing a little bro or sis to her.

Now she couldn’t even go home. Husband has to live on his own while she stays with her family. It was too much to bear when she goes home, the girl was literally everywhere, all the memories, that she cannot bear, with chest discomfort and burning sensation in the head. She is trying to do some work. But all she wants is to hide in the bedroom and read or write. She reads about grief and loss. She writes to her. She visits the cemetery with her favourite food and talk to her. She blames herself that the family is now broken because of her. She took away his daughter, she took away his family.

He continues to work, forced himself to go back to the home with all the memories, the home that’s no longer like a home. He even forced himself to drive past the spot where the daughter was taken away. But he takes alcohol and cries every night when he’s on his own. He blames her and her family, for not being cautious enough and crossing dangerously, for not dropping the kids and the elderly at the restaurant then only look for parking space. He thinks it’s their negligence that took his daughter’s life.

It’s been more than 3 months.

For a journey of grief, 3 months is nothing. If you ask someone who lost his or her child 20 or 30 years ago, s/he would tell you that the pain is still there, the hole is still there, there is still something missing that can never be filled. But perhaps by now s/he is able to handle this empty space, and has a little smile on his/her face when s/he thinks about the lost angel.

美丽的网红(网络红人)

我还没第一眼见过她,柜台帮她登记的同事就已经通过电话告诉我,“她真的很漂亮!陪她一起来的男士也超帅!”

一方面期待看到她,一方面心里”默默地自卑”。

她的话不多(有些患者一走进来,我可能连问问题的机会都没有),通常答案都很简略,或者想很久,但是答不上来,最后还是“我不知道”。过程中,她透露自己的一些过去,恋爱史,陪她来的男士只是朋友,她目前单身,已经五年了。也说到为自己过去的行为感到沮丧后悔,想忘记它们,通过催眠消除它们(没办法直接做到);再提到未来,觉得迷茫,工作迷茫,交不到男朋友也迷茫。

这点让我好奇,以她的外表,拜倒石榴裙下的观音兵肯定不少,她说有自己喜欢的人,但都爱玩,不想认真。而她,希望安定、谈一场细水长流的恋爱(几年前的她也曾经比较爱玩,但是已经过去了)。可是要嘛她对对方没有意思,要嘛对方只把她看成”玩“的对象。五年前分手的时候,也是因为对方还不想定下来,还是很爱玩,和其他女生暧昧,去夜店夜归等,两人不停吵架最后女生提出分手。她觉得男生是不可能专一的,最后能回家就好。

这让我想起很久以前和一个朋友的谈话,说她的一个朋友,不停地爱上有妇之夫,每次都很受伤,下一次却也还是重蹈覆辙;另外一个朋友也是,每次总爱上playboy,每次都被玩弄,身心受伤,但还是没有从中吸取教训。我们最后觉得,有些女生,总是会被一样的人吸引,总是会爱上类似特质的人。

这个个案中的女生,是个网红,拍很多养眼美丽的照片,网上的追随者与粉丝很多。男生会怎么看这个女生?(就会有男生说,有些女生只适合玩在一起,娶回家的绝不会是这类)而这个女生又会怎么看对她有意思的正经男生?又或者,她的生活圈中,有这类男生而同时又是她会喜欢的吗?会不会她总是不会看上所谓正经、或者想认真和她安定下来的男生?大家想想自己的过去,会不会觉得总是被类似特质的人吸引?

说到这里,想起最近一个好朋友的妈妈过世了,我不停在担心她的表现(太坚强),会不会是没有和自己的情绪接触(not in touch with her emotions)。毕竟东方国家,从小就被教育把负面情绪压抑,从来没有机会感受和接受。这个女生,也给我一样的感觉,总是“美美的”,没有什么表情,她的情绪起伏不大,笑容很浅,说到自己最难过的事情,也只掉了一点泪,就算我说,可以哭,可以难过,可以和这个情绪感觉相处…

或许你很羡慕有些非常漂亮的人,但是,有时候没有这点特质,反而让你的人生更顺利、更有优势。虽然我也还是会羡慕她长的如此赏心悦目,但也就只是单纯的羡慕,和更懂得感恩。

我穿越疯狂的旅程:一个精神分裂症患者的故事

在吉隆坡的书局找不到这本书,所以去中国工作的时候,请那里的同事帮我买的,人民币40元。有兴趣看的人,可以和我借,或网上买。

By Elyn R. Saks

By Elyn R. Saks

情况允许的情况下,我不爱看翻译书,但是这次却选择了看这本原著英文的中文书,其中是为了一些病人还有他们的家属,希望我可以给他们介绍一些这类型的中文书,而我之前看过的都是有英文版。如果读者还有知道任何关于精神疾病患者自传的书的介绍,请留言让我知道,谢谢!

大部分时候,广大民众听说的精神分裂患者,一般都是在新闻上,显然这些新闻报道的也不是关于他们的什么好事情,通常都是一些伤害了自己或别人的新闻,也很容易让人误以为精神分裂或精神疾病患者就是有暴力倾向,对社会造成危害(研究显示,事实并非如此,甚至相反)。

而本书的作者,是一名法学院和精神病学教授,明显发病的时候,还是一名大学生。所以,是的,她在“成为一名精神病患者”后,再经历多年的坚持和努力,经历无数的挫折,才有今天的生活,依旧正在吃抗精神药物和进行谈话治疗。

这本书蛮厚的,同时也表示她写得挺仔细,其中她在早期也患有厌食症(anorexia)、强迫症(OCD)、抑郁症(depression)、疑病症(hypochondria也称“健康焦虑症”health anxiety)。它不只帮助读者更了解精神分裂症从患病初期,否定诊断拒绝治疗等,到后期的选择性接受,整个心理路程与经历,也可以从患者的角度,去看到社会、医疗、教育等的不公。

作者谈到住院经历(身体和四肢长时间被固定在床上):

在我最后的两次住院经理中,医生对我的预后诊断分别是“很差”和“危重“。假如没有那些非常熟练的、非常敬业的谈话治疗师–精神分析师–对我进行治疗,那么我肯定还停留在医院所预言的那种悲惨的生活之中。

关于接受这个疾病并与它共处余生,

如果你是一位患有精神疾病的人,你所面临的挑战是找到适合你的生活。然而,事实上,难道这不是我们所有人所面临的挑战吗?无论我们是否患有精神疾病。我的幸运之处不是我已经从精神疾病中康复。我还没有康复,我也将永远不能康复。我的幸运之处在于:我已经找到了自己的生活。

心理问题/精神疾病病友互助小组(吉隆坡/巴生)

在国外,不管是什么疾病,互助小组(support group)都是蛮常见的,比如抗癌勇士、强迫症患者等。过去也曾有好一些病人问过我,在马来西亚有这种小组吗… 所以在这里我提出一些意见,有兴趣或有其它看法的人,欢迎联络我…

互助小组类型:

  1. 抑郁症、情绪障碍
  2. 强迫症
  3. 焦虑与焦虑相关障碍
  4. 精神分裂,妄想、幻觉相关障碍
  5. 照护者、患者家属

什么是互助小组?做些什么?

  1. 每个月或每两个星期见一次面,大约一小时
  2. 认识和你面对一样或类似问题的人
  3. 轻松讨论一些主题(由我引导)
  4. 彼此分享、鼓励、支持、学习

语言

  1. 英语
  2. 中文/广东话

地点

  1. 吉隆坡欧阳专科医疗所(Jalan Pudu)
  2. 巴生Manipal Hospital Klang (Bukit Tinggi)
  3. 巴生河流域一代的咖啡馆

必要条件:

  1. 病人的意愿(不是被逼的;愿意出席、参与、讨论、分享、聆听)
  2. 至少三人才能进行
  3. 尊重其他人、尊重隐私权(不泄露其他人的隐私)
  4. 承担费用(行政、材料、场地等)(若有)

目前这只是初始阶段,如果你有什么意见和想法、或者有兴趣参与的话,请留下联络方式,也可以电邮 hello@huibee.com 或致电/whatsapp 017-2757813

英文版本:http://huibee.com/2017/08/support-groups-in-kl-klang/

Support Groups in KL / Klang

I’ve been asked about support groups quite a few times and been thinking how I can start this. It’s definitely something very common in western countries, I’m not sure how it will work here in Malaysia. Now I’m proposing the idea here, and for anyone who reads this and is interested in any of the support groups, please get in touch, let me know what you think and how we can start this and get it going!

Support groups for:

  1. Depression or mood related problems
  2. OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  3. Anxiety or stress related problems
  4. Schizophrenia and psychotic related disorders
  5. Carers (immediate family etc)

What is it? How does it go? What do we do?

  1. Meet monthly or every fortnightly for an hour or so
  2. Getting to know people who share the same or similar problems
  3. Casual discussion following a theme that we set (led by me)
  4. Sharing, supporting and learning among/from each other

Languages:

  1. English
  2. Mandarin / Cantonese

Venues:

  1. Klinik Pakar Au Yong, Jln Pudu, KL
  2. Manipal Hospitals Klang
  3. Some cafes in Klang Valley?

Requirements:

  1. Patient’s willingness! (is not forced by others to join us; willingly attend, participate, share and listen to others)
  2. At least 3 to form a group
  3. To treat others with respect and maintain confidentiality
  4. To share the cost of a small administrations/materials/venue fees (if any)

These are just some ideas for now, if you have some ideas or are interested, please do leave your contacts (email or contact numbers) below or get in touch by emailing hello@huibee.com or calling/whatsapp 017-2757813

A Beautiful Mind (2001/film)

I categorised this post under “book review”, though there is a book under this same title, I’m writing about the 2001 film, directed by Ron Howard.

The book/film is based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel prize winner in Economic sciences, who was diagnosed as having paranoid schizophrenia, with delusions and hallucinations.

I started to watch the film without knowing it has anything to do with mental illnesses, just thought it’s just another biographical film (like one that I just watched last week, “The man who knew infinity”, based on the life of Srinivasa Ramanujan, an Indian mathematical genius).

It is a film portraying paranoid schizophrenia well, so well that when we, as audience see things through the eyes of Russel Crowe (John Nash), we might not even realise that those are all delusions and hallucinations, and couldn’t differentiate that those are not even reality.

The film also emphasises the importance of family supports and continuation of medication (which according to some sources of the web, is not based on what John Nash really did). During the later part of his life, he got on without taking any medicine, would still hallucinate but just do not respond to them. This is the part that I personally like in particular, sometimes medicine may not stop all the hallucinations completely, but when you’re aware which is reality and which aren’t, you can carry on with life, with them being there. There was a scene when a man approached him, and he had to ask his student who walked past, “Can you see him?”, to make sure that the man was real, not his hallucination!

I’d recommend it to family and friends of those who are diagnosed as schizophrenia, it does help understanding the illness better to quite an extent, and of course for those who’d like to understand the illness better.