Recently the famous food connoisseur, Anthony Bourdain
committed suicide prompted me to write this piece to share my
experience with you. Everyone should know about mental
Let me tell you my experience. I come from a poor family. I
have 11 siblings and you can imagine how we used to rush for
food during meal time. My father was an undertaker and sold
Among all my siblings, I have a younger brother called Mark
who was 9 years younger. I took care of him and took him to St
John Institution K.L. on my bicycle. At that time, we were
allowed to carry someone on our bicycle. He was quite clever in
I supported him to study dentistry in Singapore University with
my small pay as a young Engineer, working for the Public
Works Department which is currently known as Jabatan Kerja
Raya. My monthly salary was only Rm 760.
Mark passed his dental degree with flying colours and the
University selected him to teach in the medical department.
Even the dean of medicine liked him so much that he allowed
his daughter, an arts graduate, to marry him.
After about 20 years of marriage, he divorced his wife to marry
a young dentist who was about half his age. Soon the young
dentist left him for another younger man.
He felt so down hearted and he wanted to prove that he could
make more money from the stock market. He invested all his
saving in the stock market to show that he could be rich quickly.
But he failed and lost all his saving.
He asked me for financial help and I ignore him. He lost his
young wife and all his saving. As a result, he went into deep
When he repeatedly asked for my help, I just ignored him.
Instead of helping him, I would criticise him and I told him that
he must be holding the record for being the worst graduate
from Singapore University. As a result, he went into deeper
All the people know about physical health but very few people
know about the importance of mental health. I must admit that I
also did not know about mental depression.
On day about 25 years ago, I took him to see the psychiatrist at
the Ipoh Fatimah Hospital. The doctor told me that anti pression
drugs would take about 2 weeks to take effect but if he applied
electrical shock treatment he could get well almost instantly.
On Monday morning, the doctor gave him an electric shock
treatment. After about 1 hour, he felt better. On Wednesday
morning the doctor gave him the 2 nd electric shock treatment.
While waiting for me, his friend, Father Rudy Wong, a Catholic
priest took him to buy a package of noodle for breakfast and left
him in his house. When I went to the hospital, I was told that
Father Rudy had taken him home. I rushed to my brother’s
house to apologise for being late. I was shocked to see that he
used the wire from his fan to hang himself. Mark committed
suicide at the age of 50.
I regret that I was so foolish and ignorant.
In fact, the psychiatrist should know that mental depression
patients had suicidal tendency and he should keep his patients
under 24 hours supervision. He should not allow his patient to
leave the hospital until his patient was completely stabilized.
Most of us see depression as a phenomenon caused mainly by
various negative events we have experienced and unfortunate
circumstances that make us feel down and gloomy. However,
there are a variety of everyday causes of depression that most
people ignore and that actually affect the quality of our lives in a
So, if you feel unexplained sadness, are overwhelmed with
constant negative thoughts, and have a host of other symptoms
that indicate that you may be depressed, it is time to see a