With his brilliant performance as an intelligent eunuch in The Confidant <大太監>, Raymond Cho (曹永廉) has finally proved to the world that he can act. His portrayal of the charming and eloquent An Dehai was highly praised and well received by audiences. With his rising popularity, Raymond appears to be a cheerful person as he always carries a smile on his face. However, he revealed a little unknown secret that he had suffered from severe depression, even considering suicide in 2010.
Many people thought that Raymond is living a happy life with a wonderful wife and two beautiful children. He married John Chiang’s (姜大衛) eldest daughter, Elaine, and they have two children. Brandon and Erin were born respectively in 2007 and 2011. After becoming a father, Raymond appeared in many family oriented commercials due to his healthy fatherly image.
However, Raymond ended up with fewer acting jobs and appeared at less promotional events. He took a break filming dramas for more than a year, and only hosted a few children’s shows. “Due to the overwhelming mental stress, I fell into a severe depression.”
Raymond Fell into Depression
Appearing to be calm and cheerful in public, Raymond kept his frustration hidden inside. His wife noticed his unhappiness, as he became very quiet at home. Elaine did not give up on him and remained beside him throughout his battle with depression.
In 2010, Raymond’s depression had gotten worse and it was the turning point of his life. Feeling hopeless, he screamed in his car and considered ending his life by crashing his vehicle into a mountain. “I realize that if my suicidal tendencies continued in the long run, it is very dangerous. I sought help from a psychiatrist immediately.”
Under the care of a psychiatrist, Raymond took anti-depressants to control his depression. Although he was slowly recovering, he did not want to rely on medication the rest of his life. In addition, due to his weight gain from the side effects of the medication, Raymond decided to stop taking the anti-depressants after only 2 weeks. He knew he had to find strength within himself to truly get better.
Family Helped Healed Depression
As Raymond was searching for a better direction in life, he fortunately met a wise Buddhist monk that advised him, “Open your heart and accept your fate. Don’t ask for the impossible, and let go of your anger.”
Raymond took the smart advice and realized he had ignored his family due to his depression. Once he opened up his heart to them, his relationship with his family improved. Raymond said, “When I took the responsibility to become a good husband and father, my life started to change.”
A year ago, Raymond’s career began to revive as he started acting again instead of hosting children’s shows. Raymond shared,” I can’t say that my career is going very well, but at least it is improving year by year.” With two children, Raymond estimates that he will need $8 million HKD to care and educate them, but at least he already purchased a house and took care of his housing needs.
Raymond was grateful for Wayne Lai (黎耀祥), Raymond Wong (黃浩然), Power Chan (陳國邦), and Edwin Siu’s (蕭正楠) support during the filming of The Confidant. He said, “The five of us are like brothers. This is the best filming experience that I have ever had. I believe if one works hard, good results will await.”
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