Mum backed her up

Mrs Amelia Seko, 50, never suspected that her youngest daughter was feeling depressed.

Miku Seko, 17, was a perfectionist and seemed capable in school, so Mrs Seko did not give her any special attention.

But the widow, who lost her husband in 2008, took every effort to deal with Miku's condition once it became known.

"Depression is a sickness that you can't see, but it is a sickness nonetheless. We sought medical help and took the advice of the doctors."

Although the doctors later suggested that Miku return to her school, Mrs Seko supported her daughter's decision to take a break.

The family took a three-week trip to Kyushu, Japan, to visit her father's hometown.

Mrs Seko said: "I listened to her and supported her no matter what. I trusted her and knew that she wanted to get better."


She thinks that enrolling Miku in a private school last year was a turning point.

"Miku was feeling negative about herself and used to think that people were judging her," she said.

"She was in an elite school and she was just an average student. The private school was a different environment, where she was surrounded by friends who were more down-to-earth and of different abilities."

Mrs Seko also believes that the change helped Miku excel in her studies.

"She already had a good foundation at Singapore Chinese Girls' School and the private school brought out her ability to study."

Mrs Seko admitted that there were times when she had been scared that she would lose her daughter.

"There were cases where people lose their children because of depression. We were very lucky to have support from family and friends.

"Recovery also depends on the individual and Miku was very brave."