Commuter’s Troubles Unveiled in Court Amid Bipolar Disorder Relapse

Bipolar Disorder Survivor

Courtroom on Friday (5 January) has seen the case of Vanessa Wang Zi Qi who is a 47-year-old woman facing legal problems as a result of video-recorded tampering with train doors take an unexpected turn.

The guilty plea from Wang revealed mental health struggles that involved two weeks of testing and relapse into bipolar disorder.

Guilty Plea Shows Turbulent Past Surviving Bipolar Disorder

Vanessa Wang pleaded guilty to 2 counts of public nuisance and one count of causing hurt to a train employee, with another charge yet to be considered in the course.

The details presented in the court showed that Wang had been diagnosed with gender dysmorphia and bipolar disorder in 2019.

Nonetheless, for two years, she did not undergo treatment and follow-ups making the situation even worse.

In January 2021, Wang sought help at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) due to stress and was diagnosed with adjustment disorder but defaulted on treatment once again.

Reports showed that during her public nuisance incidents, there was hypomanic relapse into Bipolar II characterized by elation, insomnia and risk-taking activities.

Moreover, Wang was struggling with borderline personality disorder which includes disturbances in self-image; fear of abandonment; unstable relationships; chronic feeling of emptiness; and difficulties controlling anger.

Details of Offences

The legal repercussions started on 29th November last year when Wang tried forcing the train doors open while in motion on a North-South Line train between Khatib and Yio Chu Kang at around 12:50 pm.

She managed to create a gap between them thus scaring other passengers who tried stopping her.

However, she went on her way from Yio Chu Kang MRT Station despite requests for this time for next stop when those doors wouldn’t shut.

As a result, an emergency button was pressed by an unidentified commuter summoning senior station manager Mr. Foo Jee Yong, 65, and colleagues to investigate.

But Wang defied the SMRT staff’s efforts and began shouting, thus raising the level of tension.

Accompanied by Wang’s resistance when entering Ang Mo Kio, he applied physical force through swinging elbows and kicking Mr. Foo which caused him some pain.

The subsequent removal of Wang at the next station once more required additional personnel due to continued resistance and misconduct that culminated into a call to Singapore Civil Defence Force alleging major injuries and needing help.

Two days earlier, on November 27, 2023, the same behavior was exhibited by Wang at Braddell MRT Station.

These actions were significantly impaired by IMH report indicating Bipolar II Disorder in Wang with negative influence on judgment and control of impulses.

Request for Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)

An MTO suitability report was asked for by Deputy Public Prosecutor Yvonne Poon as well as defense lawyer Kalaithasan Karuppaya to stress the need for psychiatric treatment.

At the moment being remanded at IMH, she has had many episodes of acute situational reactions to psychosocial stressors in her life and is also on hormone therapy prescribed by a doctor for transition purposes.

On behalf of his client, Wang’s lawyer pointed out historical unemployment since 2021; previous service in Air Force; diploma in mechanical engineering; as well as estrangement from family members.

All of these focused on highlighting the defendant’s dependence on external help and support in his plea for leniency.

In response, the judge granted both requests leading to an MTO suitability report and scheduled the case for sentencing on January 17 with the aim of getting a quick report.

In conclusion, Vanessa Wang Zi Qi’s legal issues are inserted in a complex storyline of mental health problems that suggest the need for psychiatric treatment and care.

Hence, the court’s ruling about the MTO matter offers promise for narrowly focused interventions to prevent harm and recidivism.

As the case proceeds, it highlights how legal processes relate to mental health support in dealing with complicated difficulties faced by people like Wang.

Mental Health Topics (A-Z)

  • Commuter's Troubles Unveiled in Court Amid Bipolar Disorder Relapse