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Immigration rules led me to attempt suicide, says long term Belgian expat


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Immigration rules led me to attempt suicide, says long term Belgian expat

 

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A Belgian man who lived in Thailand for ten years has said that the country's "harsher overstay rules" led him to attempt suicide. 

 

Now, back in his home country he is drifting from place to place with only one thought on his mind - ending it all. 

 

He blames the country where he enjoyed a ten year expat life before "panic attacks" changed all that. 

 

"Nickolas H" told the Nation's "Your Say" page that Thailand's harsher overstay rules had destroyed his life.

 

In March 2016 the immigration authorities in Thailand decided that people overstaying more than 90 days would face a year ban. Nickolas appears to have overstayed by more than a year resulting in a three year ban according to the rules. 

 

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He told the Nation that in 2015 after being a "law abiding citizen" in Thailand for ten years that his panic attacks meant that he could barely leave the house. He managed to go to 7/11 in the middle of the night but a visit to immigration was out of the question.

 

An attempt to go to Cambodia to renew his visa failed as he experienced another panic attack. 

 

By 2016 he decided to fix matters and flew to Vietnam after paying a 20,000 baht immigration fine. He was banned for three years. 

 

He experienced hopelessness in Vietnam and after trying to commit suicide there he was repatriated to Belgium. 

 

He is now a homeless drifter with suicidal thoughts.

 

He said: "I understand the need to enforce immigration laws. But immigration officers should have the discretion to take personal situations into account".

 

The full text of his post is below:

 

Thailand’s harsher overstay rules have destroyed my life

 

For 10 years, I lived in Thailand as a law-abiding citizen. I don’t do drugs and don’t even drink alcohol. In 2015, at the age of 38, I started experiencing panic attacks every time I left my apartment.

 

I was in a state where I was only able to go out once, at 2am, to the local 7-Eleven to buy food and other necessities. Of course, I was unable to renew my visa. I tried taking a bus to Cambodia but, 10 minutes after we left the station, I had to ask the driver to stop and let me out. I was in full panic attack mode.

 

In 2016, I started feeling better and decided to fix my visa issue by taking a flight to Vietnam. I paid my Bt20,000 penalty fee at Don Mueang and received a three-year ban from entering Thailand. I knew there was a good chance that was going to happen but the feeling I had when I realised I would not be able to see my friends anymore or access my belongings was one of complete hopelessness.

 

After two years of living on my savings, I was nearly broke. Shortly after, I attempted to end my life, failed and was offered help with repatriation by the Belgian Consulate in Saigon

 

I unfortunately accepted the offer. Since the day I landed in Belgium, two years ago, I have been homeless and have drifted from shelter to shelter. I have always had a stable life, have worked my entire life, but I am now in a position where the only option seems to end what I can’t even call a life anymore.

 

I understand the need to enforce immigration laws, I truly do. But immigration officers should also have the discretion to take personal situations into account.

 

Nickolas H

 

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2019-02-08

 

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I somehow suspect that the number of sad stories related to immigration issues are likely to rise dramatically in the next year or so. Genuine medical issues aside, there are undoubtedly many out there right now experiencing anxiety or worse over the current situation.

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20 minutes ago, webfact said:

I started experiencing panic attacks every time I left my apartment.

To be perfectly honest, I would rather be back in my home country if I had the same condition, where treatment would be more accessible.

Can't see the fun staying here stuck indoors practically full time. 

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Few years ago i took the visa-run bustour from BKK. 

 

In the bus was a totally tattooed farang who said he overstayed because he felt sick and couldn't do the visarun. He didn't go to a doctor.

 

At the border he was charged 20.000 baht for overstaying but he couldn't get the cash out of the atm. So he went begging the other visarunners to help him paying his fine. Which they did. So we all arived back in BKK at the end of the day. It was his lucky day i guess.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, fruitman said:

So he went begging the other visarunners to help him paying his fine. Which they did.

This cant be true as only yesterday one poster was saying Farangs all back stab each other

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If his savings was depleted in Vietnam, it would have been depleted in Thailand as well unless he worked illegally, which it doesn't sound like he did or was even able to do. His life was already on the path to homelessness no matter where he lived. What he needed was/is medical and/or mental treatment for his condition.

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30 minutes ago, Thaiwrath said:

To be perfectly honest, I would rather be back in my home country if I had the same condition, where treatment would be more accessible.

Can't see the fun staying here stuck indoors practically full time. 

Agreed.

Imagine only having Thai soaps to watch on Tv all day. :shock1:

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I have never believed in the term "attempted suicide".  It either is suicide or not. If you really want to, it isn't difficult.  I call them attempts at attention.  Which is truly what he needed.  Some attention and help.   Next case......

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6 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

A post coming with a poster proudly proclaiming "I have no sympathy for him" in 3...2...1...

No, but I can say that these posters on Nation's 'Your Say' page, shouldn't be taken too seriously.

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Well Nick, you need to toughen up, regardless of any medical issues you may or may not have, that's besides the point. You overstayed and now you are paying the price.

There's obviously more to this story than meets the eye. Why aren't you working now? you say your panic attacks improved. I think you are feeling sorry for yourself and I wonder if you are expecting sympathy here. Generally there is only one person you can rely on in this life and it's yourself. I do understand fully your situation, you may think no-one does, but at 66 I lived in an old car for 2 years homeless apart from the old car, particularly difficult at my age and also I am a woman. You are a younger man, what you do with your life is up to you but to contemplate suicide in my opinion is the cowards way out. Pull yourself together and explore your options.

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9 minutes ago, shady86 said:

Alame yourself for not being able to abide laws. Another loser who can't survive at own country looking for sympathy elsewhere. 

 

And we have a winner!

[Took 7 minutes].

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

He told the Nation that in 2015 after being a "law abiding citizen" in Thailand for ten years that his panic attacks meant that he could barely leave the house.

he should have lived in Hua Hin. So boring there is no reason to leave the house. :cheesy:

 

but seriously i hope he gets help. maybe better to be in your own country with that kind of serious disorder.

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34 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

A post coming with a poster proudly proclaiming "I have no sympathy for him" in 3...2...1...

Another narcissist attacking an inevitable differing opinion even before it's written.

As someone who is pretty well housebound because of physical, medical problems, I still meet all immigration requirements. I have no sympathy for this character. It seems he came here in his 20's and gradually became a hermit, although it seems he is able to visit a 7-11 at night for food. No mention of where his money came from in the first place, but I'm guessing his contribution to society is fleeting. 

Now, having been repatriated to his home country he still blames Thailand for not giving him a free ride. Even if Thailand miraculous developed a humanitarian visa, this guy wouldn't qualify.

He's now living on the streets, his panic disorder seems to have different parameters now.

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1 minute ago, KhunFred said:

I would surmise that the idea of "one less farang" would be a good thing for many Thais. Most Thais think there are too many of us already. That is the root of the problem.

Well, "one less farang with mental issues" isn't a bad thing.  Just saying....

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44 minutes ago, silverhawk_usa said:

I have never believed in the term "attempted suicide".  It either is suicide or not. If you really want to, it isn't difficult.  I call them attempts at attention.  Which is truly what he needed.  Some attention and help.   Next case......

Is this from your experience helping suicidal people, or the families of people who have attempt  suicide?

 

I worked with a charity helping suicidal people.  Many 'attempts' are the real thing, but the people either made a mistake, or get saved by someone at the last moment, fortunately being found and rushed to hospital for stomach pumps, emergency surgery etc.  T

 

These are not simply people wanting 'some attention'.  In fact, family with attitudes like yours often mean the person is ignored or belittled and the people think they are not really going to kill themselves and are just trying to get attention (told to 'get help' and 'next case'.  Often the next time they 'attempt' it they will succeed, much to the surprise and shock of the family or friends.

 

The story of the OP is about mental illness, however, and he can not blame Thai immigration rules for his situation.

 

 

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35 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

 

And we have a winner!

[Took 7 minutes].

Odd, how the term "loser" is always defined as a person who does not make enough in his home country and is doing quite well in a country with a lower cost of living.

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1 hour ago, NCC1701A said:

he should have lived in Hua Hin. So boring there is no reason to leave the house. :cheesy:

 

but seriously i hope he gets help. maybe better to be in your own country with that kind of serious disorder.

Thats so true, a mate  went there by the new ferry from Pattaya,

He took one look at Hua Hin,  then decided to stay on board and go straight back to pattaya. 

:giggle:

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