Recovery Story: Gina’s recovery advice
Interview by Fari Wu
Fresh graduate Gina was 16 years old when she developed social anxiety, due to bad social experiences with friends. Five years later, she developed depression.
She was the victim of bullying in school, even when she was in Kindergarten. “I was the fattest kid back then. And some friends followed me from Kindergarten to Primary School, which made it harder.”
How her Social Anxiety developed
“It was in secondary school when I realized I had symptoms like not being able to look people in the eye. My hands would shake a lot. I became conscious with how I present myself.”
“I was put on Prozac. It worked for a while, but then the symptoms came back. I changed medications a few times but the same thing kept happening.” (Gina no longer takes medication as she personally feels it is not effective for her).
Gina’s Recovery Advice
“In Polytechnic, I managed to make new friends. Then I removed all toxic people in my life. I believe my environment was really important. Sometimes you keep giving and giving (to people), until you feel so run down. And people just take what you give them.”
“I do still struggle with that. It’s part and parcel of life I guess. But you have to learn to protect and value yourself. Otherwise people might take you for granted.”
“And if you’re unhappy with yourself, implement routines to change your lifestyle. Like eat better, exercise, make time to do what you want.”
On Her Friends
“In Secondary School, I had a friend who helped me through difficult times. I have issues with trusting people, so I’m grateful she and I are still close friends now.”
On Her Family
“They thought I was being too sensitive. They told me to just focus on my studies. But I wasn’t even emotionally stable, how do I focus?”
On Her Aspirations
“I want to get a job and be financially stable. And I hope one day I can fully accept (the bullying and difficulties) that I went through. There are times when I think about it and still feel unhappy. But I hope one day I can stop being hung up about it.”
Her Message to Caregivers
“I think you should remember to take care of your own needs too. Sometimes when caregivers are tired or rundown, you quarrel with us or have misunderstandings with the person you care for. And it just becomes bad for both sides. And please be patient with the people you’re working with.”
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