Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Sharing my emotional upheaval

Whenever I'm feeling moody, or easily irritated, I try to correct my own biochemistry first. This means that I will settle all my physical bodily needs. Do I have enough food, water, rest and leisure time? If I don't have any of these, I will try to correct them first and see if I feel better. Most of the time, I do. Usually, I don't have enough sleep, and I'm always surprised by how much a good night's rest or even a short afternoon nap can do wonders for my emotional stability.

But if I did all these, and I'm still feeling miserable, I think there are some deeper issues at work here. There are a few types of issues, but I'm not an expert, so I will rather not mislead. I can only share the ones that I've experienced before. 

A long long time ago, the stock market crashed and I lost a large percentage of my networth. How did I lose it? I keep averaging down as it goes down, thinking that the fundamentals are still intact. Eventually, I can't take the losses and cut them off at a huge loss. That stock is Longcheer. Is it still around? I'm not sure. In hindsight, I lost more than the money - I lost confidence in myself and I was suitably depressed for about 3-4 months. I think it was quite serious because others around me can feel my gloominess and I even entertained thoughts of suicide. That's when I knew it was bad. I eventually clawed my way out of it by working hard. I realised that by working, I can put the needs of my students ahead of mine, and for that time being, I can forget my own troubles. But at night? Nighttime is the hardest period to go through if you're depressed. There are fewer distractions and you just have to deal with your own troubled mind alone.

I guess I'm lucky that I got out of it on my own. I might sink so deep that I can inflict irreversible self-harm. That episode made me stronger and more empathetic regarding such inner turmoil. It's quite useful in my line of work since students these days are so highly strung up that they might be just one trigger from crumbling catastrophically. I heard that more and more young adults too are facing tremendous stress and are suffering emotionally.

I have recommendations to make for anyone who needs such help.

I have a good friend Patrick, who did a mid-life career switch from IT to counselling. Counselling is not exactly a field that one associate with making big bucks, so you can be sure he switched because of his natural passion and affinity towards it. Nobody I know makes a career switch midlife because he wants to make more money as his primary reason (though it could be a 'side effect'). 

Patrick is now doing an internship, working for his clinical hours. He has started accepting clients for therapy and it is 100% free of charge and with no obligations, and no hard sell to sign up for packages. The sessions are conducted on Google Meet (fully HIPAA compliant) and will last typically 60 to 90 mins per session. If necessary, face to face sessions can be arranged near OCBC center on Saturdays.

What have you got to lose? At worst, you wasted your time only since there's no financial cost to this. At best, you find the right match for a person that can guide you out of your underlying issues. For people who needs this, I think it's a godsend. Patrick comes highly recommended by me since we've been good friends for many years. I might even consult him except that I can't, because he adheres strictly to SAC ethical guidelines so he can't do therapy for friends/family due to dual relationship issues.

This is not a sponsored post by Patrick. He didn't ask me to do this and I have no financial gains for referring clients to him. I just want to help him and believes that he can help others since I trust him enough to endorse him personally for his services. You can reach him through email at


hyom said...

Hi La papillion,

I remember Longcheer too. I prefer to call this company Wrongcheer. Lol.

You're not alone losing a lot of money from averaging down. So did I. I won't say averaging down is bad per se but it is a practice I am wary of. When things go wrong averaging down, risk can run out of control. Even if money account is not blown up, mental account will be blown up. However, I do know of some people who practise averaging down and did pretty well so far.

I wish your friend well. IT is pretty hot at the moment with the trend towards digitalization, so I guess he must be quite interested in the new career to make the switch, since the opportunity cost is quite big. I think he will be a happier person after a successful career transition. All the best to him!

la papillion said...

Hi hyom,

I never ever average now with the aim of recovering from the losses - it's like throwing good money after the bad. I learnt from my lesson by judging the merit of each buys separately and up to a max limit. That will prevent me from blowing up again. I'm glad I never had that kind of mistakes again (but there are plenty of others to learn from haha)

I think averaging down should only be for index or any well-diversified ETF. If it's individual stocks, have to be ultra-careful of the risk of blowing up.

Thanks for the well wishes to my friend :)

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