Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann, 43, went through a dark period in her life about nine years ago, even though at the time she was newly married and had just given birth to her first child.

The award-winning actress had moved to Hong Kong to be with her husband, Hong Kong action director Ma Yuk Sing, after getting married in 2012 and having her baby Vera the same year.

Credit: The Straits Times/Yeo Yann Yann

She revealed this to chat show host Quan Yifeng on the latest episode of Mediacorp talk show Hear U Out last week, adding that it got so bad that she had to move back to Singapore without her husband, who is 17 years her senior.

“I realised that I needed help when I thought of ending my life after an argument with him,” she said, adding that the fight was over something unimportant.

“After I calmed down, I asked myself why I wanted to kill myself,” said the star of Ilo Ilo (2013) and Wet Season (2019).

“I should have been very happy because I had a child and my career was going well,” she added.

As she had no friends or family with her, she fell into a deep depression and decided in 2013 to return to Singapore, where she had been based previously.

“I told him that I couldn’t continue living in Hong Kong. I had to move back to Singapore or I’d end up in a fist fight with someone on the streets,” she said with a laugh.

The couple, who maintain a long-distance relationship, spend only three months a year together due to their busy schedules.

“My husband spends most of his time working overseas, so I’m fully in charge of our daughter’s upbringing,” she said, adding that she even drove herself to the hospital to give birth.

“He’s been working non-stop for the past 30 years. The longest break he’s ever taken was a month. I don’t want him to change for me.”

She revealed that she sought help from doctors, and used traditional Chinese medicine and jogging to improve her mental state.

A huge source of motivation for her recovery as her daughter, who was timid when she was younger.

Yeo said: “I told myself that I had to heal myself if I wanted her to live a good life.”


  • Samaritans Of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
  • Singapore Association For Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
  • Institute Of Mental Health’s Mobile Crisis Service: 6389-2222
  • Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800
  • Silver Ribbon: 6386-1928

Text: The Straits Times