As the celebrities who have gone public with their mental health struggles have shown, it doesn’t matter who you are – anyone can be vulnerable to mental illness. Local celebrities aren’t exempt from mental illness either. Recently, Marie Claire Malaysia spoke to a few who bravely talked about their struggles with severe anxiety and depression. In a show of support, they have joined their international counterparts in working to change the perception of mental health issues. Top Malaysian model and actress Alicia Amin, for instance, revealed she was suffering from depression. She didn’t know what was wrong at first, and why she felt suicidal. It took years before she was properly diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and was finally able to understand why it was difficult for her to deal, even with the simple issues in life.
“Clinically, depression is very common with ADHD patients as they feel a constant sense of confusion. For example, a child not being able to understand why they think in a certain way while others seem to be so calm with the way they handle things.” When Alicia finally understood that her depression was caused by her ADHD condition, the going got easier as she understood the source of her dark thoughts and that also explained her frustrations. Since then, Alicia has made it a point to share her struggles while highlighting that everybody’s struggle is different. She also stressed the importance and benefits of seeking professional help. “In Malaysia, we seem to believe that we do not need professional help with our minds. But you don’t have to be struggling with severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder to see a counsellor. These counsellors are experienced in navigating your thoughts and will help you unravel the thread ball of thoughts making it easier for you to understand the situation better,” she says. Alicia believes that having a third person look at your problems objectively is one of the best ways you can help yourself.