Why Access To Mental Health Services Should Be A Basic Right

It is even more pertinent now than ever to make mental health a priority

Victoria-Marie
ILLUMINATION

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Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

It is my first-year anniversary of officially seeking help for my mental health. It was not until I was hospitalised for a completely different illness (I had dengue) that I realized I was mentally ill. To this day, I am ever grateful to the consultant at the National University Hospital (NUH) who noticed that something was not right with me, and called in his colleagues from the Psychiatry Department to pay me a visit.

Giving birth and being a first-time mother in the midst of a global pandemic is challenging, to say the least. It did not help that my husband was a doctor who was overworked due to the lack of manpower, and I constantly had a fear that he might be quarantined if he caught the virus. I was managing all night feeds alone, getting barely 2 hours of sleep a day, struggling to breastfeed my baby, and having intrusive nightmares every night. What exacerbated my misery was the fact that I was being criticised by some relatives for being cold and unwelcoming, “treating them like delivery drivers” after a single visit when I was struggling to soothe my baby all alone. I did not realize that my constant tears, hyperventilation, fear of the night looming, and nightmares were all symptoms of…

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Victoria-Marie
ILLUMINATION

Linguist. Writer. Mum. Currently navigating life with intense sleep deprivation, and learning how to still do what I love - teaching and parenting.