I attended a 2-day Intensive Course on Understanding Mental Illness on 8 & 9 September 2017. It was organized by Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA) in their premise.
I was actually sleep-deprived while attending this intensive course. For a few nights, I had been working hard on correcting my dissertation to make it ready for final submission. Though feeling exhausted, I was determined to attend the intensive course. I placed a lot of importance on this intensive course as I have been struggling with schizophrenia for many years. It was a golden opportunity for me to learn more about my mental illness that people around me rarely talk about it. I hope I can find a way out from the hardship I have been experiencing or at least lessen the hardship through being enlightened by the speakers from MMHA.
I never regret attending the intensive course as I have learnt a lot from it. For example, I know the root cause of my mental illness which is to do with my brain chemistry that is something very physical. It’s not because I am at faults, but it’s because of genetic and environmental factors which are not under my control.
Therefore, there’s no need to feel ashamed for having schizophrenia.
During the intensive course, I was educated about the reason I have been put under medication for more than a decade. Previously, I thought that my psychiatrist was too rush into making the decision to prescribe me Olanzapine, causing me to be dependent on anti-psychotics till this day. However, now, I realise that the medication comes with side-effects but helpful for balancing my brain chemistry. I have learnt to weigh the pros and cons of being on medication.
On the second day during a simulation activity for the participants to experience how it is like to have schizophrenia, I broke down in tears. Haha…I could sense many turning heads but I was glad that everyone just pretended to have not seen me crying. It was a fun and hilarious moment for all the participants. However, for me, it was a moment of reopening old wounds.
Overall, it was an informative and inspiring intensive course. However, if you are schizophrenic, I highly advise you to go with your caregiver or loved ones. I hope MMHA will organize this again in the future. The registration was open to the public and it only cost me RM20.
My Certificate of Participation.