On January 28th, we organized the 4th time of BreakTalks. The theme for this Break-Talks was “Mental Disorder.” Ms. Asuka Fujii, who writes lead paragraphs for S.C.P Japan mail magazine and is a person with mental disorder grade three, spoke about her tough and encouraging experiences of having a mental disorder.
In the first half of the talk, Ms. Asuka Fujii talked about her personal story. Specifically, she taught us when she was diagnosed with depression, how she has tackled the disorder, what exactly bipolar disorder is, and why she decided to get a disability certificate, a special notebook that ensures handicapped people’s well-being. In the other half of the talk, Ms. Asuka Fujii answered a variety of questions from the participants.
Ms. Asuka Fujii’s Personal Story
Since the age of nine when she joined a local soccer club, Ms. Asuka Fujii always enjoyed playing soccer. However, from a certain point, she became less enthusiastic to play soccer. She, being described as diligent by a lot of people, was diagnosed with a mental disorder when she was seventeen. At the same time, she was interested in teaching soccer instead of playing it. Although she studied coaching in university and continued teaching soccer after graduation, she is now looking for a working life that suits her mental state.
While she went to school for a few days in the 12th grade, she quit her school and took a test that grants her a high school diploma. However, she experienced depression in her university and working life, so she was constantly out of her university and job. Later, she was diagnosed with recurrent depressive disorder and was hospitalized for once. In that mental condition, she obtained a grade three of mental disability certificate.
In 2019, she quit her job again. After one week of examination at a hospital, her diagnosis changed from the recurrent depressive disorder to bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that repeats mood shifts ranging from emotional highs to lows. In manic high periods, she becomes talkative and causes overwork. Immediately after the periods, she suffers from depressive periods. This kind of mood shift occurs once a year, but she can now control an intense mood shift with medicines.
Present and the Future Life
She is not fully confident about working, and she is still on a journey of finding a way to embrace herself. According to her, as others’ support has helped her a lot, good relationships with family, hospitals, and counselors are indispensable.
She also puts forward the use of social services. Welfare services let people fully rely on a variety of experts, which eliminates the need to complete everything by oneself. This is one of the reasons she decided to acquire a disability certificate. She also takes the advantage of rework services, transition support for handicapped people, and working day-care service. She is striving for the future in which she finds something she can grow as a person.
”It’s just a disorder”
In the last half of the BreakTalks, Ms. Asuka Fuji answered questions from participants. One of them asked how to explain depression to children. She shared her experience to answer the question. When she was diagnosed with depression, her parents said, “Depression is just a disorder. It is curable.” This simple response definitely made her feel better.
After the event, a lot of participants said that they are happy to learn about bipolar disorder, as it is rather a minor topic to talk about. Everyone expressed gratitude to her for sharing experiences.
S.C.P Japan continues to introduce people with a variety of information and experiences through BreakTalks, which certainly brings an occasion to explore diversity and inclusive society.
Thank you for each participant with a unique background. We appreciate the time and dedication they offered.
Thank you also for Ms. Asuka Fujii, volunteers, and sign language interpreters, who all made this event special. We hope to work together in the near future.