Steven Ma Has Been Suffering Panic Disorders for 20 Years

Steven Ma (馬浚偉) sought to challenge himself when he decided to write and direct film Till We Meet Again <生前約死後>  based on his own struggles after his mother passed away . The film adaptation is based on Steven’s successful stage play of the same name.

Diagnosed with depression and panic disorder after losing his mother to cancer in 1999, Steven fought hard to overcome them mentally and physically. Despite much efforts, in a recent interview he reveals that it has been 20 years, but he currently still suffers from panic disorders.

The 47-year-old star admitted that working on Till We Meet Again was physically and emotionally draining. As he had to relive the painful memories concerning his mother’s long battle with illness, it was inevitably too overwhelming for him that he had to stop writing for three times. On set, he expressed feeling clouded with craziness and that his colleagues would see him being schizophrenic.

Steven said, “I am not nervous, but I am insane. When I get into position I would cry like no other and once I hear ‘cut’, I would go to watch playback. I am basically a crazy man walking and crying here and there on set.”

Steven’s film is dedicated in loving memory of his mom

Describes Panic Symptoms

Taking eight years to walk out of depression, Steven has yet to break free from his panic disorder. Although he does not panic as frequently as before, his body still experiences symptoms such as fast heart rate, rapid breathing, numbness, and dizziness. Its unpredictable occurrence means he always carries medicine with him, but he notices it occurs more often during times of emotional breakdowns.

He expressed, “I’ve been experiencing it for years, so I can sense if it’s about to happen. I would close my eyes and breath deeply to calm myself down and if it gets serious, then I’ll take medicine to control it. Even doctors scold me and ask if I have to exchange my life for this project.”

Encourages Others to Cherish Life

The actor is well aware that he worries too much, but reassures he isn’t suicidal anymore. Rather, in understanding that many are under stress in the current society, he strives to encourages those with the same experiences to not give up and that they will be able to walk out from those dark places. “ I feel so pained whenever I see suicide news. Every life is precious, so no matter what hardships you face, don’t give up on yourself.”

Since leaving TVB in 2012, Steven has been busy in learning to achieve his dreams. He explained that he studied screen production not to fight for jobs, but just to gain basic knowledge. He also plans to establish his own film production company in October with government approval and non-profit organization support to make more local films addressing Hong Kong society’s issues.

Source: Ming Pao Weekly

This article is written by Minna for

Steven Ma Lets Go of Dark Times and Finds True Happiness

Related Articles