Joy Paranthanam met up with Ashleey Sa, who shares her journey from depression to schizophrenia and to bipolar and how no one  including her own family, would believe her. This is Ashleey’s story.


When I finally hit rock bottom

Ashleey relates, “I was at my worst while working in New York.  it was a spiral all the way down and I had to return back to Malaysia; a place where I had wanted to run away from – a place that brings much pain and sadness especially during my childhood”.

The most important thing in life is about the struggles when facing our challenges, mistakes, and obstacles in our daily life. Those things make us stronger.

 We have to learn how to get over them  as  we find a way to face  it, solve it, and able to overcome it. That happened  to everybody and when we are able to overcome, it will be another step in our life. Basically, in every human life’s journey, we will definitely meet challenges that will mature us and it actually build us for now and present.

In my opinion, mental illness is actually more suffering than those who are having cancer, diabetes, and other physical pain. Mental illness is not like other physical pain because physical pain can be relieved with a pain killer.   Mental illness also known as mental health is about ourselves, our own emotion, and our mind.


Ashleey says,  “All the time, I help myself to get out from depression This is what I have gone through.  I was depressed and I stayed in the room for one month.  At that time, I did not bother  about anyone. When in depression, we are eating ourselves up and we are actually aware of  what is going on but we only choose to ignore what’s  happening around us.”

 Ashleey stresses that the caregivers are very important to persons with depression.

“They are the ones that are with people with depression at all time.  Sometimes they are the ones that make them lose hope and also the ones that always continue supporting this kind of people. If caregivers manage to capture that moment of depression, they can actually learn to understand better about depression.”

Finally, I have found one of the treatment in a private hospital.  I went for a series of 8 counselling session. It cost about RM2000 which my dad’s support. After these sessions, many things had changed in me.

That was Ashleey’s journey with chronic depression.


Talking about schizophrenia,  Ashleey says she  was diagnosed  in 2010.  

At that time, I was in my own world and I felt like it as though all kinds of religion came and visited me at the same time. They came and taught me good things.  I only came out of that situation when my friend sent me to my dad who sent me to the University Malaya Hospital  for  further treatment.  After that, I recovered very fast. 

There was a bright light  that shot into my body and I couldn’t control it. I was searching for ways to get healed because I was so tired of taking medication every day but it made no difference to me  and I did not get any stronger. I tried to find another way through religion and I prayed alot to “KuanYin” while I stayed in the temple for three weeks and was able to be in “trance condition.” 



Ashleey has bounced back from her cocoon years where she felt so entrapped.






Her determination through the help of kick-boxing has also enabled her to size down her weight from 80+ kg to a healthy and trimmed 40+kg body, confident and very much independent though still on medication but on a much lower dosage.

Ashleey’s road to recovery is life-long and while she  takes the ups and downs in her stride, she is grateful for individuals who had supported her along the way.

She has much to thank her “brother”, Captain X, who has helped her tremendously through his moral support in her training at Kelab Tomoi Kuda Merah Polis DiRaja Malaysia.

Besides, Mr Koh through his mindfulness programmes, has enabled her on her journey to self-awareness and her new found faith in Jesus anchored her through the turbulent sea.