by Jason - A former service user

I would like to thank everyone from CMHA for providing these quality services to enable me to enhance my life skills, build up my confidence ...

I grew up as an extremely self-conscious child who was generally shy and nervous. I am the 3rd child in my family with two brothers, one older, one younger and a sister. Being the middle child always made me feel very left out because family friends and relatives would always ask. "How's your older brother, sister and younger brother?" In conversations, they would never ask of me. From a young age, segments of my family, relatives and friends had put me down and I had always been told they don't talk to me because I was too serious about everything.

During those early days at school, I also suffered from urination problems. Every time I felt nervous, I would have to go to the toilet. It was very frustrating for me because every time I needed the toilet, I was too afraid and embarrassed to ask the teacher because I did not like the attention I received from the other pupils whom might laugh or think of stupid things about me. So I would usually have to wait for hours till after school. Being very desperate wanting to go to the toilet everyday at school was a total disaster for me! So disastrous that one time, at my primary school in year 4, I could not hold on! I completely wet my trousers in front of the teacher and all the pupils in my class. How awful was that! I was not even brave enough to tell my mother about it; instead I lied to her saying that someone accidentally spilt water over me. I had also wet my bed several times when I was a child.


I started my first primary school feeling very nervous around everyone. The teachers I had in school were very strict. Many pupils bullied me in class including my so called close friends. I was then moved to a new primary school from Year 5. This made me feel ever more nervous about the new pupils at the new school because I was the only Chinese pupil there. Here, I was more bullied by the new pupils. They called me horrible names like monkey man and picked on me because I was Chinese. I had fights with a gang of pupils because they were bullying me. I had quite a poor self-image because of that. I remember once during Year 6, I met a girl in class that I really liked. I thought she was very pretty. She had sat next to a pupil sharing a desk. The teacher then made arrangements for us to be moved to different places. I was placed to be sat next to the pretty girl on that desk. I felt very happy until I had my first huge disappointment. She took a pencil and drew a line halfway across the desk, saying to me that this half was hers and the other half was mine. I felt extremely disappointed, rather upset and very let down. I could not understand why she did that but only believe that she did not like me.

Going into my Secondary School, I was again bullied. More horrible insults kept resounding in my ears. They called me thick and stupid, more stupid Chinese names, sung stupid songs, laughed at me; I had more fights. Each time I was bullied, I thought to myself, 'why are they doing this?' Anger built up in me and that anger made me think through and through again why I was bullied. At last, I did not want to think anymore, I just believed I was thick, stupid and ugly, and that was why I was bullied. I had a lot of stress due to this. I found most of the subjects difficult. The pupils at school were constantly teasing me. I liked so many girls, but most of them at school, totally ignored my presence. I was really unhappy and did not like myself. I felt afraid to look in the mirror because I believed I looked ugly and stupid. I just hoped a miracle would happen, like I could change my whole body from head to toe. It never came; I just had to face reality.

I struggled with my studies towards my final GCSEs. I could not concentrate and I was rather anxious and worried about asking others for help. When my GCSE results came out, I could not bare to look at them. It was not bad as I expected but the results were not good. I was in deep misery not just by the results, but to everyone who would think I was just thick and stupid; they would not understand my struggles. I had only one chance in life; this was to work hard and do well in my A Levels so that I could prove myself to others that I could go to University and excel in life.

Feelings of Depression

Karaoke singing was wonderful and a form of escapism. I started at the age of 14 and now am confident in my abilities. Most of the time, I never knew I was any good at it, because my brother constantly bullied and put me down. I had been told that "I sung like a cow" but gradually I became better, my confidence rose quite a bit and eventually I started singing for the students in my class during A Levels. Everyone in my class was impressed! I was given the opportunity to perform my karaoke singing on stage at the end of my A Levels in front of the whole year and the teachers as well. They really enjoyed it and the applause had made me feel so relieved and emotional inside! But during this time through my A Levels, I felt lonely. I liked the positive attention I received via my karaoke singing but I wanted more of that positive attention. I wanted more and more and this had made me feel depressed.

Finally I made it to University. My university life was totally different as no one bullied me, but I struggled badly during my studies. I, again, had similar problems that I wanted a lot of attention from everyone I liked and because of that I was very self critical of myself. I was constantly thinking that I needed to be better than others to get that attention. So I involved myself in many sporting activities, worked out at the gym, practiced snooker so much that I spent an entire year after graduation to become a professional snooker player but this never happen and I was deeply depressed. Then I had problems with finding full time proper employment. Eventually, I had many emotional problems concerning finding work, personal issues, family problems, and worries about the future. I just felt I could not accept myself and I had no real future ahead of me.

Life began to change for me

Then one day, a different approach in my life began. I soon had the confidence to tell my mother the problems I had as she was the only one that I trusted. After trying hard to convince her that I had a problem, she soon understood that I needed to meet more people and to get to know them more. She noticed an interesting advertisement from a Chinese newspaper about CMHA and the counseling services and social groups they offered. My mother thought that this could be something for me to be involved in.

After seeking counseling for a month or two and attending the social groups, I felt more confident, more relaxed, generally happier meeting with other people at CMHA. I have been to other counseling services before but this one really helped me out. I was made more aware about the reasons why I was feeling depressed from time to time. The counselor was very helpful and I was indeed making very good progress.

I am now currently working for a high street bank as a senior sales support assistant. I am extremely happy about it and very satisfied after having struggled for almost a year and a half to find a full time job. Although this job will be for a six months contract, I feel that I am capable of working there longer because I just had a good review from the bank manager recently. Overall, I would like to thank everyone from CMHA for providing these quality services to enable me to enhance my life skills, build up my confidence and allow me to gain a better chance to obtain this extremely fulfilling job. I still have a long life journey ahead of me and have to make every effort to get through this journey. More importantly, I will always have to believe that I am just as important as anyone else.

English Text











最後我還是考上了大學。我的大學生活完全不一樣,因為沒有人欺負我,但是我在學習中很困苦地掙扎過。我,又一次地,有著相似的問題,我還是想得到我喜歡的每一個人的注意,因為我是一個律己嚴格的人。我經常以為,我要得到那種注意我就需要比其他人都強。所以,我參與了很多體育活動,經常去體育館。畢業後的整整一年我都在練習桌球,因為我想成為一位職業桌球手,但這沒有成真,我又深深地沮喪。後來,我在找工作上遇到了問題,我不能找到一份全職的正式的工作。最後,因為找工作、個人因素、家庭問題、還有對於未來的擔心,我又遇上了很多情緒問題。 我覺得我不能接受自己,我覺得在我的前方沒有真正的將來。