Woman tweets suicide attempt

A 31-year-old woman suffering from clinical depression was rescued from a suicide attempt at Changi Beach on Tuesday, after tweeting her plans to do so.

The woman, whose Twitter account carries the name Elaine Chiam, described her condition as “major depressive disorder”, a unipolar low-mood syndrome involving low self-esteem and the loss of interest or pleasure in enjoyable activity.

She sent out a series of suicidal tweets on Tuesday, starting from approximately 11:30am, where she described her struggle with a “suicidal desire”.

She was tracked down at Changi Beach Park later in the afternoon by concerned friends and Twitter users after she posted a picture of the beach, describing it as her “last view”.

She was then found by a passerby who called the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), and brought by ambulance to Changi General Hospital (CGH).

The SCDF told Yahoo! Singapore that they received a call for help at 2:45pm on Tuesday, and found Chiam in a drowsy state, discovering later that she had overdosed on drugs.

Her 28-year-old boyfriend, known on Twitter as Zhenjian, tweeted that she will be hospitalised until Saturday. He reached Changi Beach in time to accompany her to CGH and later tweeted that she “should be fine for now”.

He also shared with another friend that he believed Chiam’s depression was caused by childhood neglect, and that she had been suffering from the condition for “some time”. 

Chiam, who also runs a cat welfare group called Love Kuching, told peers who tweeted her that she would be taking her life, adding that this would be her third attempt to do so. She also expressed her sentiment in a haunting post on her blog entitled “Descent”, describing in a poem the experience of committing suicide.

Checks on her blog also revealed that Chiam had hinted in posts published the night before and over the weekend that she was losing the will to live.

Graphic designer Rudi Lim, a former schoolmate of Chiam’s, said that she was an only child who lived alone in Singapore since her secondary school years, because her parents were based in Malaysia.

Lim said that from his interactions with her previously, he observed that she is quite an emotional person, describing her as “very loud” when he knew her in junior college.

“She’s the type that you can hear from the opposite side of the canteen,” he said, adding that she once disappeared and was not contactable for a week after an argument with a previous boyfriend.

With additional reporting by Fann Sim

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