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Melody C


Age: 30s
Bipolar & Dissociative Identity Disorder


My name is Melody. My name sounds happy and positive but I own a past that is much darker. I suffer from a mood disorder known as Bipolar Disorder that is compounded by another sickness called Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I grew up in a family where I did not see my dad very often. My parents lived apart since I was seven years old. I was also told by my mother that I was the cause of their problems. I grew up thinking that I was the problem, I was wrong and I was the evil one. Other than this, I lived a problem- free childhood under the loving care of my grandmother while my mom worked.

At age 14, my mood took a turn for the worse and became dark and destructive. I prepared needles to inject detergent into myself. I recall showing that to my school counsellor and she was shocked, to say the least. I was promptly brought to a psychiatrist, and given medication. He diagnosed me with Bipolar Disorder because I complained of manic behaviours besides depression.

I felt alone and misunderstood by my friends, and I was an outcast. I started to imagine myself as different characters and three distinct persons or dissociated states emerged. I was having very intense anger and crying spells.

I managed these personalities right through my school days medication-free, but not problem-free. I had many manic moments in Junior College, which got me through the vigorous academic gruel. At age 21, I broke down and was hospitalised for erratic behaviours. Between age 21 and 27, I was hospitalised more than 15 times, underwent electro-convulsive treatment more than 20 times and had scarred my arms with scratches numerous times.

The light at the end of the tunnel finally shone in 2009, when I agreed with my doctor to go on medication. It turned my life around and I could function without breakdowns. Also, I decided to undergo counselling which enabled me to deal with my emotions. I also drew strength from knowing God and His ultimate sacrifice of Jesus for my sins. I was no longer under the yoke of blame that my mom had put on me. I was free to live life to the fullest.

Right now, I'm satisfied with my job and I am happy. I have the keys to recovery because I sought for them desperately. I did not want my whole life to be about hospitalisations one after another. These photos speak of my life and my recovery.



Happy Endings

Having spent half my life struggling with the plague of Bipolar Disorder, any happy moments now are blessings and sources of exhilaration. This happy face made out of cakes and a plate tells of sweetness of sanity, and happiness in living.



Solid Rock

My faith is a solid rock on which my feeble feet have laid itself upon. I can never be joyful apart from the joy-giver. It was not easy to get onto this boulder, and in the same way, it was not easy to surmount my problem with emotions. Some people have told me that it was not possible to be.



Odd One Out

The light of the 7th candle has ceased to shine. When I was sick with agitation and depression, I felt my university mates were outshining me. I was a candle but one that did not shine despite my potential to do so. I rose from the ashes by empowering myself with fuel from within, and now am shining brighter than ever.



The Calm After The Storm

Life was turbulent, with mental struggles overwhelming me. This picture of placidity in the waves shows the cessation of difficulties that struck me time and time again. I am the seagull in this photo - enjoying the peace and tranquility of a fine day. The setting sun reflects off the water and this represents the light of hope resting upon me.




As a child, I was told that my life was a mistake. I was meant to be a boy and I shouldn’t have been born. This boat was run aground and left alone. I felt abandoned like this boat - far from the comfort of an intact family with loving parents. Nobody wanted this ‘boat’ and this boat was me. Life took a turn when I forgave my abandoning parents, and found for myself, a dignified life free from rejection, be it from myself or from others.



No One At Home

My mother worked to support herself after her separation from my dad. As a result, I had to run my life on my own. This picture shows a picnic bench with no one enjoying a meal or engaging in conversation. My dinner table was much like this, where I did not see my mom often or have dinner with her even. The sun was about to set in the photo. On the same note, I felt my life was hopeless and should have ended it. After years of mental anguish, I emerged from a dreary night of despair to encounter a sunrise of newfound purpose.



Choosing Triumph and Purity

These two shells represent choices in life. I could either choose to be marred by life’s disappointments or choose to focus on the brilliance of my existence. My right hand is dominant and in it, I hold the shell that has no flaws. I choose to take hold of my life and steer it to purposeful living. Purity was paramount where I kept away from temptations of self-injurious behaviours and treated myself with respect.


A member of National Healthcare Group ISO   Comm Chest Award Bronze