The idea for this book first came to me some months after I had electro-convulsive therapy, when I realized how misunderstood mental illness really is. If the general population does not understand mental illness, many sufferers will be maligned and unfairly treated, or left alone to live a life of utter despair or turmoil. Some are even ostracised by their own families.
Sadly,some sufferers may simply kill themselves without understanding their urge to do so, without ever being diagnosed, without ever knowing that treatment could have saved them.
Life With Bipolar Disorder
Imagine stumbling every now and then onto a mega rollercoaster, one without seatbelts or safety bars, hanging on for dear life, wondering if it might not be better just to let go. You go from dizzying highs to terrifying lows. You have no control. Now imagine that this is your mind, taking you from profound joy to suicidal sadness. You want to live. You want to die. It does not matter what you want. You have no control.
At forty-two, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This is my story:
When I was fifteen, a teacher told me she could see the devil in my eyes. I spent the next twenty five years trying to tame this ‘devil’ inside me.
Born to Indian parents in Singapore and raised by a Chinese amah, I struggled to fit into a conservative society where exuberance is frowned upon and conformity is a tradition. I spent a significant part of life feeling different, being different. Throughout my career with Singapore Airlines, then as an advertising industry executive, I led a volatile life – sometimes blissfully and enviably contented, at other times wishing I was dead.
No one, certainly not I, suspected I was mentally ill … until the day my sister suggested I had ‘inherited Daddy’s illness’. This epiphanic revelation led to a bipolar disorder diagnosis, followed by a suicide attempt where I narrowly escaped death.
Praying to the Goddess of Mercy charts my journey from chaos to stability. It offers insights into an illness for which there is no known cause, no cure and no immunity. It will inspire and enlighten people with mental disorders and the loved ones who suffer with them. Ultimately, it is about being true to oneself and having the courage to take charge in the pursuit of happiness.
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The New Paper extract
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Publisher: Monsoon Books
ISBN (paperback): 978-981-4358-91-0
ISBN (ebook): 978-981-4358-92-7