Kan

Mind HK Ambassador

I AM... a retired Business woman.

I AM... a mental health advocate.

I AM... a runner.

I AM... a lifelong learner.




"The stigma around mental health made me unwilling to share my true feelings, my depression, and my anxiety with family and friends."


Where/what has been important to you in your mental health journey? Why?

A church service overseas. About 10 years ago, I accompanied a colleague to a church service and I burst into tears, without reason. It was there that I realised I was experiencing an emotional breakdown. I couldn’t suppress my feelings anymore.


How has mental health affected your day to day life?

My attempt in building wealth to give my son a future caused me a lot of stress. I was “controlling” and easily irritated by anything against me. I was result-oriented and didn’t care about what other people thought. My family relationships were harmed, due to my selfish, irritated and bossy attitude. I felt low, isolated and socially withdrawn. I became cynical and criticised everything. The frown often hung on my face. Even when I smiled, I felt it was fake. Symptoms of depression and anxiety, isolation and social withdrawal often haunted me. It was dark — the world seemed gray. Even the beautiful blue sky was gloomy in my eyes. No one else could be trusted except myself. No one understood me.


How has the stigma around mental health affected your life?

I don’t think my family and friends recognised my mental health struggle. They probably didn’t know enough at the time to understand it. They took it as my way, my style, my personality. They thought I was strong enough to deal with my own problems. Eventually, I felt that they kept their distance from me.

The stigma around mental health made me unwilling to share my true feelings, my depression, and my anxiety with family and friends. I was afraid of being seen as weak or a failure. Years later, after getting divorced, I felt more isolated and socially withdrawn. It was a dark time.


How would you describe yourself? What are your labels?

Supportive mum – I am now a good listener.

Empathetic – I have more empathy and am willing to support others emotionally.

Positive – We can’t change the world, but we can change our perspective. As long as we are alive, everything is possible.


What gave you hope during your recovery?

The death of my dad made me rethink the meaning of life. I knew it was time to make a change. I started searching for answers to better understand what was wrong with me. I read many different types of books about life. It widened my understanding of human nature, and most importantly, about myself.


Tell us about your life now

My career, my wealth, and my personality are not what defines me — my growth defines my identity.

 

Learn more about working mum’s mental health:

https://www.mind.org.hk/mental-health-a-to-z/working-mums-managing-mental-health/common-causes-of-stress-for-new-mums/

Seeking help in Hong Kong:

https://www.mind.org.hk/getting-help/

List of mental health services provided by local NGOs:

https://www.mind.org.hk/community-directory/

Find help now:

https://www.mind.org.hk/find-help-now/