Surviving Schizophrenia: A Mother and Son Story

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Published May 7, 2021, 1:36 AM

When Madam Kim falls into a depression following her divorce, her young son Kee Whay decides he should become a doctor. His wish: to mend his mother's broken heart. But as his own struggles with schizophrenia begin to emerge, their shared existence forces them to confront their relationship and what they mean to each other. 

Madam Poh Kim Pheng, also known as Madam Kim, is currently a committee member of the Malaysian Mental Health Association, a non-profit NGO established to promote mental health awareness and public mental wellbeing. 

Episode structure 

  • 00:00 - Trigger warning disclaimer
  • 01:37 - Introducing host: Rahmah Pauzi
  • 02:15 - Introducing Madam Kim and son - Kee Whay
  • 07:13 - 'He kicked me out of the car'
  • 12:50 - Suffering alone from mental illness
  • 15:00 - Discovering Schizophrenia
  • 18:21 - Underlying resentment and forgiveness
  • 21:08 - Madam Kim's life, going to Oxford University
  • 28:19 - [TW: Su*cide, depression] Divorce
  • 36:43 - 'I would turn on the shower and cry, in the bathroom'
  • 41:34 - [TW: Su*cide] Madam Kim's breaking point: attempting s*cide
  • 45:00 - 'Forgive, and let go, and the life will come back to you'
  • 50:57 - Kee Whay: coming to terms with past mistakes
  • 58:40 - 'I believe all mothers will just want their children to get better'
  • 60:59 - Kee Whay's recovery: What's he doing now?
  • 69:12 - Find mental health support sources in our show notes
    69:40 - Outro and credits



  • ‘UH’ - University of Malaya Medical Centre, formerly known as University Hospital, is a government-funded medical institution located in Pantai Dalam, southwest corner of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Thean Hou Temple - The Thean Hou Temple is a six-tiered Buddhist temple of the Chinese sea goddess, Mazu, located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is one of the biggest temples in Southeast Asia. 
  • ‘Hawking’ - Stephen William Hawking was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author, widely known for his bestselling book, ‘A Brief History of Time.’ 
  • Cincai - Malaysian slang word that literally translates to ‘whatever’. 
  • Flower Bathing - Also known as ritual of ‘Mandi Bunga’, it is a popular cleansing ritual in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. The normal purpose of the bath is to remove bad luck, ward off evil spirits and increase a person’s aura in hopes of attracting good luck. 
  • ‘Makan’ - Malay word which translates to ‘eat’ or ‘to eat’. 
  • 'Armstrong' - Neil Armstrong, an american astronaut and astrophysicist, and also the first person to walk on the moon. 
  • Apollo 11 - The spaceflight that first landed humans on the moon, piloted by commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin. 
  • Tau jiong - Malaysian soymilk. 
  • Tau fu fah - A sweet chinese snack made of very soft tofu, often referred to as ‘soybean pudding’, ‘tofu brains’, or ‘tofu pudding.’
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The Ezra Zaid Project

The podcast that features unique stories and anecdotes often hidden in plain sight. Every fortnight, 
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