Mon, May 19, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Suicide puts focus on depression

SILENT ASSASSIN:A number of people in the news and entertainment industries have come forward to share their experiences with depression and insomnia

By Wu Chih-wei, Ku Ming-hung and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

The recent death of CtiTV news anchor Erich Shih (史哲維), who allegedly committed suicide because he had long suffered from depression and insomnia, has shone the spotlight on these conditions.

A number of people in the entertainment industry have also been known to suffer depression, insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Sun Tsui-feng (孫翠鳳), of Taiwanese opera troupe Ming Hua Yuang Arts and Cultural Group (明華園), said she used to be tormented by depression.

She said she was able to overcome it by taking a long rest during a six-month break from work.

“Being busy doing demanding work is unavoidable, but one must stop now and then to take a rest,” she said.

Actress and writer Ouyang Gin (歐陽靖) said she suffered from depression for six years including during her time at high school. Only with the support and care of her mother did she finally manage to beat it, she said.

Taiwan Television Enterprise (TTV) news anchor Chang Yu (張宇) said she had also been plagued by sleep disorders, due to her early morning news slot. She said fear of oversleeping and being late for work caused her to toss and turn in bed for hours, unable to sleep.

Her insomnia was remedied when she started doing stretching exercises and taking medication before going to bed, she said.

Singer Gary Chaw (曹格), who has won a Golden Melody Award for Best Mandarin Male Singer, also had sleep disorders, because in the past he had to take frequent work trips overseas and had difficulties with jet lag. He said he used to take sleeping pills to combat the problem, “but now taking care of my child is the best remedy for insomnia.”

Pop rocker Hsie He-hsian (謝和弦) also suffered from depression.

“Taking medication to control depression is only a temporary measure. The best way to defeat the illness is to stay far away from [emotionally] cold buildings and get in touch with nature,” he said. “I had tried taking sleeping pills, but they cannot get to the root of the problem. Now I keep myself very busy during the day so I can become tired, which leads to me going to bed early and falling asleep easily.”

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