Government must help people scarred by childhood trauma

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 March, 2008, 12:00am

I strongly agree with C. Gaia ('Physical and verbal child abuse knows no social boundaries', March 11) that we must stop child abuse in all forms - physical, verbal or emotional - if we are to tackle family violence at its root.

Until I developed acute clinical anxiety, I did not realise childhood abuse was the source of my anger. I am now healing with an experienced psychologist, who is helping me rebuild values and handle the inner fear stemming from parental abuse. My father used corporal punishment and had a negative world view. He had been abandoned in childhood by his own mother. He unconsciously passed on to me and my siblings feelings of immense fear.

Although the corporal punishment stopped in adolescence, the mental scars remained. I was aggressive, ashamed and self-centred. I lacked confidence, had a negative perception of things and was deficient when it came to interpersonal relationships. Only now am I recovering.

There are other people like me who need help, but cannot afford it. I call upon the government - and wealthy people who would like to help - to make funds available to increase the provision of quality psychological therapy within the community. I am spending a small fortune to see a psychologist, at the rate of HK$1,600 per 45-minute session.

I can assure readers that it is money well spent. However, how can someone with similar problems, who comes from a low-income family, afford these fees? Also, there are still people who are at the stage I was at before I got help - who are unable to comprehend the real cause of their anger.

Therefore, I think our government needs to drastically increase its social investment in psychological therapy while actively building up an awareness within the community about the importance of psychological issues.

I also think there must be tighter regulation of psychotherapists in Hong Kong, to ensure a good standard of service.

It took me some time to actually find the right professional, who was able to get to the root cause of my problem.

A. So, Tsing Yi