GEORGE TOWN, Nov 13 – “The True Stories Unveiled” is a forum on mental health organized by the final year persuasive students from the School of Communications, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) which was held at the Dewan Pembangunan Siswa 1, Kompleks Cahaya Siswa, USM. The forum was warmly welcome and received by USM residents and local community as well.
The “True Stories Unveiled” forum was conducted in conjunction with the ‘It’s In Us’ campaign which aimed on raising awareness among youths regarding symptoms of mental illnesses, reducing social stigma’s associated with mental health problems among youths and to educate youths on how to provide support for people with mental health problems.
The forum was attended by a panel of knowledgeable people on mental health issues such as Mr. Isma Yusoof, director, actor, and lyricist who is also suffering with Bipolar Disorder, Dr.Farris Iman Leong, Lecturer of USM Medicine and Psychiatrist, and Ms. Doreen Teh, Psychologist from Teh Healinghart Center.
Isma Yusoof shared that he has been suffering from Bipolar Disorder since 2009, now aims to educate society, especially the youth on mental health which is a problem that should not be underestimated.
This is because, in his opinion, it is necessary to educate society on helping those with mental health problems and to eliminate stigma’s that allows individuals with mental health problems to be marginalized.
During the forum, Isma Yusoof also bravely shared his experiences on the symptoms he had before being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.”As days passed, I find myself being more of an active person like talking endlessly, thinking outside the box without me being aware of it.
“I start talking about religion, always talking and doing the same thing repeatedly, feeling indifferent, becoming angry that it would reached to a level that I do not want to meet people and just lock myself in the house because it is too depressing, “Isma Yusoof.
Furthermore, Isma Yusoof also said that when he had Bipolar Disorder symptoms, he felt the things he was doing were normal and did not feel that it was strange only until people around him who knew these changes and suggested he met a psychologist.
During his visit to an expert, the psychiatrist told him that he has mental health problems associated with bipolar disorder. After the diagnosed, Isma Yusoof had received psychological therapy and was given medicines to help him recover completely.
After two years of suffering from bipolar disorder, he changed his way of life towards more a positive one and educated himself more about Bipolar Disorder with the help and support of his family and close friends.
According to Dr. Farris Iman Leong, who was also a guest on the panel, said that the symptoms expressed by Isma Yusoof from a psychological aspects are symptoms that often occur in individuals with bipolar disorder.
A common symptom of a bipolar disorder patient is that the individual is unconscious about the changes of his behavior and the patient cannot willingly receive the reality of his symptoms.
Furthermore, people who are aware of individuals with mental health problems such as extreme stress and depression should play their part by supporting them and imposing any negative stigma’s towards them.
The two-hour forum was also attended by the Deputy Dean of the School of Communication USM , Dr Bahiyah Omar, lecturers from Universiti Sains Malaysia and guests from the Penang community.
The forums ended with guest and panel having a question-and-answer session towards having a positive impact on mental health awareness. For any inquiries, do visit the It’s In Us Facebook page or email at [email protected] — PN