Spare a thought for those mentally unwell

Dear Editor,

I refer to this viral video which shows this woman supposedly destroying a Taoist/Buddhist altar and claim that she is a Christian. She said some insensitive things like burning incense is smelly and what these people doing are wrong.

I am not trying to defend the actions of this woman. I think what she has done can cause great harm in a multi-religion society like Singapore. However,it is quite obvious from the video clip that this woman could be mentally unwell. A normal person would not suddenly thrash an altar and then reveal his/her address and nric willingly. You could also tell that her thoughts were not coherent, jumping from incense burning to SMRT and then teaching Maths.

My sister sunk into manic depression a few years ago and before we brought her to see a doctor she would sometimes act in a confrontational manner with strangers and family members. Even till today, if she does not take her medicine regularly, she would suffer a relapse. So I understand how difficult and stressful it is to care for someone like that.

I would just like to urge Singaporeans to spare a thought for those mentally unwell. I don’t think it helps the situation by uploading this video online. In fact, it makes it worse for this woman and her caregivers. I would also say the person recording the video is not very kind man himself. The manner in which he talk is very disrespectful and is trying to mock the woman. I understand he might be very angry at what has happen, but does two wrong make one right? Does uploading the video online means you are right and you have won justice??

All religion teach tolerance, forgiveness and love. If we all uphold these values, I hope people would stop watching the video and those who have uploaded them online take it down.

The woman is likely suffering from some mental condition, what she needs is professional help and counselling. No amount of online shaming and anger will make her recover.

Soh Kim Huat

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