Actress Yeo Yann Yann wanted to kill herself while suffering from postpartum depression

Yeo Yann Yann revealed that she used traditional Chinese medicine and jogging to improve her mental state.
Yeo Yann Yann revealed that she used traditional Chinese medicine and jogging to improve her mental state.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann, 43, went through a dark period in her life about nine years ago, even though she was newly married then and had just given birth to her first child.

The award-winning actress had moved to Hong Kong to be with her husband, action director Ma Yuk Sing, after getting married in 2012 and did not have a support system over there to help her with her new baby Vera, who was born the same year.

She revealed this to chat show host Quan Yifeng on the latest episode of Mediacorp talk show Hear U Out, adding that it got so bad that she had to move back to Singapore without her husband, who is 17 years her senior.

"I realised that I needed help when I thought of ending my life after an argument with him," she said, adding that what they were fighting over was not even something important.

"After I calmed down, I asked myself why I wanted to kill myself," said the star of Ilo Ilo (2013) and Wet Season (2019). "I should have been very happy because I had a child and my career was going well."

As she had no friends or family with her, she fell into a deep hole of depression and made the decision to return to Singapore in 2013 where she had been based previously.

"I told him that I couldn't continue living in Hongkong. I had to move back to Singapore, or I'd end up in a fist fight with someone on the streets," she said with a laugh.

The couple, who maintain a long-distance relationship, spend only three months a year together due to their busy schedules.

"My husband spends most of his time working overseas, so I'm fully in charge of our daughter's upbringing," she said, adding that she even drove herself to the hospital to give birth.

"He's been working non-stop for the past 30 years. The longest break he's ever taken was a month long. I don't want him to change for me."

Speaking candidly and often joking about that dark period in her chat with Quan, she revealed that she sought help from doctors and friends, and used traditional Chinese medicine and jogging to improve her mental state.

A huge source of motivation for her recovery is her daughter, who was timid when she was younger. Yeo said: "She didn't dare express her thoughts, and I told myself that I had to heal myself if I wanted her to live a good life."

HELPLINES

Samaritans Of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
Singapore Association For Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
Institute Of Mental Health's Mobile Crisis Service: 6389-2222
Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800
Silver Ribbon: 6386-1928