When the pandemic struck and cast its shadows on the theatre industry, popular local actor, Adrian Pang, slipped into depression.
Having struggled with self-esteem issues throughout his career and after being rejected by several casting directors for not being good looking, Adrian found himself sinking into a pit of darkness and despair.
As Pang claimed, “The ‘black dog’ sank its fangs into me. I felt that I was not just non-essential but also non-existent.”
Adrian Pang Opens Up About Fighting Depression
Image courtesy: Adrian Pang Instagram
Pang, who is the artistic director of the theatre company Pangdemonium was speaking to the audience at an online mental health awareness programme on Oct 10, where he opened up about his mental health struggles.
“It was hell. This is what happens when you define yourself by your job and lose all sense of yourself without it,” he said describing that time.
Even though his family was by his side throughout this difficult time, it was only after seeking professional help that he could manage to control his “black dog.”
Quoting a line from the play ‘The Son’, he said, “Sometimes, love is not enough.”
He elaborated, “If you have a kidney failure or a broken leg, all the love in the world won’t be able to cure it. In a similar way, just like other illnesses, mental illness requires professional help and there’s no quick fix.”
Mental Health Issues Rise Amidst The Pandemic
The objective of World Mental Health Day was to raise awareness of mental health issues, which many in Singapore and overseas had to deal with amid the pandemic.
The organiser highlighted that one in seven people in Singapore encounter mental health issues and only about half will seek the necessary mental health support.
Speakers discuss how they coped with their mental health issues
Various speakers opened up about how they felt overwhelmed in various stages of their lives and looked for ways to cope with it.
Ms Pat Law, who is the founder of Goodstuph, a social marketing agency said how she broke down after working continuously for 400 days and that too without a break. She then decided to book a week’s staycation for herself in Sentosa and then spent another week without checking her work emails.
There were some who spoke about how they dealt with the trauma inflicted by their emotionally abusive parents and the pressure of typing one’s self-worth to achievements like school grades.
The guest of honour at the event, Sun Xueling, who is also the Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Education spoke about how she felt isolated during her schooling years.
Ms Sun shared, “I remember, I felt tired every day and did not have any appetite. I lost interest in everything and all I wanted to do is sleep.”
She managed to come out of this dreadful period when she entered university. Ms Sun today feels that she should have been more open conversations about her struggles with her teachers and friends.
President Halimah Yacob also recently said that conversations surrounding mental health must lead to concrete steps to improve the situation. The youth, in particular, will need extra support because, at a tender age, they may find it difficult to articulate what they are going through.
The online event called, “The Unheard: Human Library”, was organised by the non-profit organisation Project Green Ribbon in commemoration of World Mental Health Day which was on October 10.
Until the end of October, Green Ribbon will be raising funds for its “The Unheard.”
It aims to get more people to share their unique life struggles. If you wish to donate, you can do so here.
Singapore Helplines To Contact For Mental Health Issue
Image courtesy: iStock
If you are suffering from mental health problems or know someone who needs help, you can reach out to these helpline numbers.
- Samaritans of Singapore:
1800-221-4444 (24 hours) /1-767 (24 hours)
- Silver Ribbon Singapore:
- Tinkle Friend:
- National Care Hotline:
1800-202-6868 (8am – 12am)
- Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline:
6389-2222 (24 hours)
Here are some numbers who can get in touch for counselling:
- Care Corner Counselling Centre:
Lead and feature image courtesy: Facebook
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