Schapelle Corby's Failing Health

Schapelle Corby is now mentally ill, and due to the strong medication she is taking for this, she is also physically deteriorating.

The article below is extracted from a letter written by a well known advocate and supporter. It was sent to every Australian MP and Senator in June 2010. Less than ten of them replied, and all but a couple of the responses were copy/pasted from prepared text.


It is impossible to properly articulate the trauma and suffering Schapelle Corby has endured. The turmoil has been such that it has rendered her mentally ill and at serious risk of short term death.

People have no idea what her reality actually is, as a mentally ill Australian woman in a squalid foreign prison. What her deteriorating mental illness means in practice. What it means in her daily life in her situation.

They don't know about the maltreatment and abuse. They haven't seen the Dr Phillips' report, and what he actually had to say about her shocking condition and chances. They have little comprehension of the depths of psychosis she endures every hour of every day.

Nor have they considered the physical aspect of suffering severe mental illness in that environment. That she is childlike and totally exposed to criminal exploiters and others. What that REALLY means.

About how she struggles to look after herself. What her sister sometimes has to do for her, to function as a human being. How she is defenceless, and how she treated every day of every week in what is already a frightening and terrible place.

People really should think about these things. If they did, and understood what is now shocking cruelty, they would weep, as I do.

Schapelle has remained strong for so long: holding on day after day in hope and belief that justice and truth would prevail. Bewildered, confused, but keeping faith in humanity and clinging desperately to past memories and the love of her family.

But year after year it has become harder and harder, as her mental strength has been worn down. Freedom is so far away that it is not even on the radar, yet she has been in the squalid overcrowded unbearable heat of that cell for what will seem like an absolute eternity.

Let me tell you what a visitor reported recently:

"When she wasn't staring into space and rocking from side to side, or looking around intently seeing cameras everywhere and who knows what other demons, she was making frequent references to suicide and death. From time to time the Schapelle I remember would resurface from the depths, but this occurred infrequently. From other comments she made, and intense references to her dead father, I fear I may not see her again."

"Schapelle now thinks she is ugly and this could very well be attributed to the media. She also thinks she is stupid, which is probably due to bullying and taunts like the white monkey ones. Her defences are gone and she is vulnerable and open to everyone and anyone."

"When we left the prison and were being driven back to our hotel in a cab, we were both crying for most of the journey."

A couple of recent true stories I have also picked up:

  • Schapelle pulled all the eyes off her soft toys and handed them to her mum, telling her "Take the cameras away". Then the visitor above took her a soft toy, a tiger. She hid it because she fears its eyes watch her. Then, of course, the media are allowed in with their cameras.
  • Schapelle asked her mum if she was REALLY her mother. She told her that people can be made up to look like her mum with makeup. She kept asking, "Are you really my mum?"
  • Last time her uncle went, she sat there with tears streaming down her face, because she couldn't make him understand what she meant. It was something to do with his watch. She couldn't comprehend and sobbed for the full hour.
  • Then again, just a few weeks ago she was begging her mother to let her kill herself after an AUSTRALIAN media crew burst into her cell and confronted her. Can you imagine how her mother felt when she left her behind? Channel 9 basically told people who complained that she is fair game.

I could go on and on, and this just scratches the surface. This is what she has become after what they have done to her, and by they, I mean people in Australia too. I mean Australian politicians.

Australia has an innocent mentally ill woman dying in a foreign hell hole and has simply watched her deteriorate, even allowing its own media to continue its onslaught with intrusion and malicious reporting. She should have been in a hospital a year ago, but instead she is being mentally tortured, and no-one lifts a finger to help her.

Some comments from those who have seen her recently illustrate this further:
    "At one stage she sat on the floor with my daughter's stuffed frog that plays tunes and she was there holding it for 90 minutes without moving." “Schapelle was a strong minded person then, determined not to crumble and determined to prove her innocence. Now she’s like a timid little child who cowers when I scold her for doing silly things, like climbing the water tower.” "She thinks she can hop up and go, she'd just start to get ready. She'd change her clothes and say 'let's go'. "We'd have to say, 'No Schapelle, you can't'." “She’s always talking about being better off dead. I’m really concerned for her. She’s definitely not sane any more. She talks about “going down” which means down into a grave. She says she would be better off dead.”
    "According to her cellmates she doesn't sleep at night," Kerobokan jail doctor Agus Hartawan said. "Sometimes she is blank. Sometimes she just hangs around the cell, sometimes she forgets about things. Sometimes she forgets to look after herself." "On this occasion she was dishevelled, was not looking after herself properly and was paranoid, believing someone was spying on her through a hold in the ceiling of her jail cell." “She has this thing about climbing the water tower, all the time. She’s done it many times and I always have to go out and talk her down. She tries to refuse sometimes but always obeys me in the end – either willingly or forcefully. I just insist in a firm way until she gives in. She never defies me.” "Schapelle Corby is so traumatised by her time in jail that she has lost all touch with reality."

The comments from Dr Jonathan Phillips, a former president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, and who examined her directly, are even starker:

  • "She is now helpless, hopeless, feels useless, she feels alienated, she feels removed from the rest of humanity,"
  • "Schapelle has now cut herself quite severely and many times over on two occasions."
  • "By any normal definition of insane, Schapelle is sadly in that category."
  • "She is in a situation where she could easily move forward to kill herself."
  • "She is hanging on by a thread."

Kim Bax, a psychiatric nurse, explains her condition in a YouTube video:


In August 2009, New Idea Magazine published an interview with Dr Jonathan Phillips, which starkly described the seriousness of Schapelle Corby's condition.

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Robert McJannett, former Kerobokan prisoner, describes Schapelle Corby's deteriorating condition from first hand experience:


"Schapelle Corby is suffering a slow and torturous death, devoid of human rights, and devoid of any protection by her government."

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