Jason

Mind HK Ambassador

I AM... a research assistant.



"I will say that when everyone has abandoned you, even when society has abandoned you, don’t be the one that also abandons yourself."


How has mental health affected your day to day life?

I was in secondary school, when I noticed that I was in love with a boy. I was conflicted and desperate, since I was born into a Christian family. I faced a constant battle with myself over my sexuality and my identity. I was even willing to become a monk for Jesus; to give up love, to be alone for eternity. I would start crying when I was alone. I also experienced a lot of self-deprecating thoughts and a low self-esteem. Adding to my distress was the verbal bullying that I experienced from my classmates. Being overweight and with severe acne fueled much of the bullying, with classmates saying I was ugly, that I was not worthy of anything. My distress, low mood and negative sense of self impacted my grades.

How has the stigma around mental health affected your life?

I remember my friends had a big fight with me saying that because I wasn’t good at replying to their messages,they took it as me ignoring them. However, I was not. I was tired and didn’t have the energy to reply to anyone at that time. After I said I had been diagnosed with depression, they didn’t believe in me and thought I was being pretentious. They thought I was just using my depression as an excuse. At church, when they found out about my sexual orientation, I did not receive support. My “situation” was complicated, both my diagnosis of depression and my sexual orientation. I found myself being side-eyed by the parish and ignored by the minister.


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

My counselling clinic. The clinic offered me the necessary means and guidance for me to work my way out of my depression. My therapist helped me to process the hardships I was experiencing at the time. He helped me learn to communicate with myself. He reminded me to compliment myself for smallest accomplishments and find a sense of control in my life. The most memorable thing that my therapist said to me was that: “Therapy is only a tool for your recovery. You have to take the step to change your behaviour.” This had become my mantra; it once, that at that time, gave me power to save myself. Recovering from depression was not easy for me, every step was a feat for me. Waking up, going outdoors, self-caring; not to mention that I still needed to work to support my mental health.


How would you describe yourself? What are your labels?

Diagnosed with Clinical Depression

Survivor: I survived my depression and I am hoping to provide some survival advice for the people who are experiencing it.

Healthy: After struggling with my weight and body image, I now aim to be healthy rather than focus on a specific body shape or weight.

Fashionable: I spent some time studying fashion. I was called a fashion disaster, but now everyone praises my sense of style.

Persistent: If I have a goal, I will use every single ounce of energy to achieve it. I won’t give up easily.


Tell us about your life now

I am now recovered. Even when negative thoughts emerge, I use positive voices in my brain to overpower them. I have fostered healthy habits, such as exercising, reading, and playing the flute. I am a more confident person now. When I walk on the street, I am not afraid to look at people, talk to people. Most importantly, I love myself and care for myself now.


What has your mental health journey taught you?

I will say that when everyone has abandoned you, even when society has abandoned you, don’t be the one that also abandons yourself.

What would you tell someone who is going through something similar to what you have experienced?

Trust me, it will be hard and difficult. However, your future self will be so grateful that you have made the decision to take action. Never give up even in the darkest moments of your life.


 

Learn more about depression:

https://www.mind.org.hk/mental-health-a-to-z/depression/what-is-depression/

Learn more about LGBT+ mental health:

https://www.mind.org.hk/mental-health-a-to-z/lgbt-mental-health/about-lgbt-mental-health/

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/