In 1994, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It was the aftermath of my broken relationship. I ended my 10-year relationship with my fiancé and was devastated. I was constantly depressed and was not able to function in my daily life. When I was diagnosed, I was very fearful. I could not believe this was happening to me. For the next seven years, I cooped myself up in the house and cut myself off from the outside world. I was practically in an inactive state. However, with the constant support and encouragement from my family, I began to consult a psychiatrist and take my medication regularly. Although it was a uphill journey for me, I did not give up.
I was introduced to Community Rehabilitation and Support Services (CRSS) at Bukit Batok in 2006 by my psychiatrist. The counsellors at CRSS was very patient and willing to listen. They always lent me a listening ear and encouraged me. They are very dedicated and never fail to provide me with the necessary help and support. Slowly, with their help, I began to over my anxiety and troubled emotions over the years. They also work with me to achieve my goals in life.
After getting a job, I further my studies to upgrade my skills. I took my partial A Levels, followed by a diploma. Going back to study was not an easy feat, I did not give up. With the help from my teachers and friends, and support from my counsellors, I graduated with a para-legal diploma in 2012. With the diploma, I landed myself in a permanent job.
The job played a vital role in my life. It had given a new lease of life and built up my confidence and self-respect. It rose me to a better position where I could extend help to my family and those in need. It made me realised that even with bipolar disorder, I can achieve my dreams with the support from those around me.
Going forward, I aim to further my studies and get a degree. I am very grateful for the compassion, respect and kindness shown to me by staff from CRSS. I am very thankful for their contribution in walking with me on my journey to recovery.
Sivarathika D/O Sivakaruniam – A member of Community Rehabilitation and Support Services at Bukit Batok