THE TRAUMA REAL MENTAL PATIENTS GO THROUGH DURING NATIONAL SERVICE

I enlisted with C9L9 due to mental afflictions and went along into BMT. It was difficult at first but it is true that the memories you make with your bunk mates are unforgettable and awesome. However, my mental condition became worse eventually even though I tried my very best to hold on and shoulder the stress. I wish to emphasize that you do not need to ‘act out’ even though you have a mental condition. Maybe these are what you might call the ‘dangerous ones’ but as one of them, I certainly feel that we have it the hardest.

Yep, I decided to tell my sgt that I need to see a counselor in camp during BMT but NOTHING happened at all. There was that platoon talks with the BMT counselor person sometimes but please understand that IT IS DIFFICULT for anyone to talk about such matters IN PUBLIC. Are you kidding me? Also, the hotline. Isn’t it obvious that you will be singled out or rather, exposed clearly after you call that hotline? It could have just been my COY but nothing was ever discreet. I was already expecting myself to get exposed if a scheduled meeting with the camp counselor was arranged but nothing happened.

When it was time for posting out for 2nd phase of BMT, I just couldn’t take it anymore and told my new PC I had to see IMH. And before anyone says “”I just couldn’t take it anymore”” means its a choice, you are wrong. Have you ever ran for so long, you legs couldn’t move anymore? This can apply to mental stress as well. Some call it a nervous breakdown.

I am very grateful for the camp which I was posted out to because they actually take me seriously and offer lots of help and ease. But the MO s— hard. Can I blame them? Well maybe but I also sympathize with them due to the fact that many kengsters have given us – real people with real mental conditions, a bad name.

I got referred to the MMI (Military Medical Institute) as it is mandatory and the IMH ‘dare not touch’ NS related matters. Long story short, they under diagnosed me, gave me meds that aggravated my condition, asked me to go back to camp because they don’t want to see me and just told me over the phone ‘oh just continue first’. Really? I don’t expect them to send a limo to fetch me but I can’t just go and seek immediate help? I don’t mind waiting there as I know they have appointments.

What’s up with “”care for soldiers””?

The govt hospitals either had too long waiting time (1 month at least of appointment schedules) and IMH doesn’t wanna do anything. I got desperate and went to see a private psychiatrist.
I was then diagnosed with bipolar disorder. You see, I had a milder form of depression when I was younger thus, lowered pes but not so low (yes, before enlistment there was this psych assessment thingy but I was stable already and not on any meds). But apparently my condition surfaced clearly when the NS environment broke my mental limit. According to my pdoc, it is also possible that I had bipolar all along but the symptoms weren’t clear enough to confirm as that.

As bipolar was diagnosed, I was already under great duress and the symptoms were particularly volatile. I was put on strong drugs to stabilize my self and was on long MC.
Long story short, I was eventually downgraded to pes F.

I am tired of people saying “”strawberry generation”” “”suck it up be a man”” “”everyone also enduring””. But try living in OUR world; having to live with a mental affliction.
There’s this amazing analogy someone said which can probably help more people understand.

“”People with diabetes take medicine. But when people with mental issues take medicine, everyone loses their minds””

Let me list it out for you. Both are permanent conditions, both require medication, both are symptomatic. What’s the difference? Stop condemning people with mental disorders before you understand it fully.
There are some extreme cases which might cause these people to harm themselves as well as others. However, compared to the VAST spectrum of mental disorders, that is only a minority. NOT ALL mental disorders will make the person ‘crazy’. Mental disorders involve the mind and affect emotions. It is rather difficult to fathom as an outsider. But do understand that we can not control them all the time. When it comes, it just comes. Can you control a fever ? Tell the fever to stop! and then lower your temperature? No, you can’t.

We are all different. Different people react differently to various environments. Weak is an insulting and illogical label.

To all those kengsters, I hope you do well in life. Otherwise, you just tarnished our name for nothing which is even worse. But honestly, please stop using mental illness as an easy getaway and make up something new instead if you wanna prove your “”intellect””.

Lastly for people who are hesitating to seek help while in NS or before NS, please DO NOT hesitate. Again, with the fever analogy, it WILL get worse and that is never a good thing.
If you have read till the end of this post, I thank you for taking out time to do so. I hope this will help more people understand us as well as what some of us go through before awarded pes F. “

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