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  • Writer's pictureJanelle, Your Friendly Florist

Stories Behind the Flowers

Updated: Feb 21, 2022

Inspired by a real-life story, this bouquet is named Mamoru, which means “to protect” in Japanese.

Y was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) at the age of 27, following a breakup. His condition has since stabilised even though he shared that his recovery was a long and arduous journey. Y recounted that on many occasions, he would burst into tears uncontrollably. He could not find any motivation to get out of bed each morning and lost interest in the things he used to enjoy.

Sensing that something was amiss, Y’s family brought him to see a psychiatrist. During treatment, Y was emotionally unstable and had to call in sick for work frequently. As a result, he had no choice but to reveal his condition to his boss.

With the help of medication and counselling, Y got better eventually and could return to work a few months later. However, he realised that his colleagues treated him differently compared to the past and became very self-conscious. He kept to himself, hence affecting his work performance.

Since young, Y has the habit of journaling and penning down his thoughts. However, with all that was ongoing at his workplace, Y found that his intrusive thoughts were slowly eating into him.

During a counselling session, Y shared what he was experiencing with his psychologist. Upon further examination, Y was diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

OCD is a term used too casually these days. Many of us have a vague idea of what OCD is but may not be aware of the symptoms, causes and treatment methods. Y hopes to raise awareness of OCD so that the public will not dismiss the condition under the impression that the patients are just “anal” or “weird”. We should use the term appropriately as it may otherwise undermine the severity of the condition.

On hearing Y’s story, I felt discouraged and indignant. All the efforts to advocate for inclusive and mental health-friendly workplaces go down the drain when a few uneducated individuals decide to paint patients with mental illnesses in a bad light.

That spurs me to start a campaign to help raise awareness of mental illnesses and reduce stigma, fear and discrimination. As a florist, there is no better way for me to do that than with flowers. Flowers tell stories when words fall short.

With Mamoru, an exclusive design dedicated to Y, I hope to promote acceptance and respect for persons with mental illnesses. The bouquet features yellow roses - a symbol of friendship and compassion. Blue delphiniums represent dignity and grace. I added green foliage and selected green wrapping as finishing touches because green is the colour of mental health, signifying hope, strength, support, and encouragement for sufferers.

Mamoru is crafted with sincere wishes for Y to thrive in his career and all aspects of life. It also serves as a reminder for us to show compassion and understanding to the people around us. Be kind, for everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

Thank you, Y for sharing your story with us!


"What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation."


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