How Filipinos react to Mental Health?
How Filipinos react to Mental Health or better yet, “Are Filipinos aware of mental health?” Filipinos are not aware of mental health wherein our PhilHealth system does not cover medical bills for treating depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other mental health illnesses. In fact, if you ask one of your friends about mental health they might associate it with a crazy person or a mental hospital. Mental Health does not refer to a person with schizophrenia. Mental Health includes the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of a person. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Most Filipinos do not know how to answer the question, “How Filipinos react to Mental Health?” because they are unaware of it.
What is Mental Health?
Mental Health is our ability to deal with the stress of everyday life, traumatic experiences, grief, and other emotional situations. Our inability to deal with these stresses and situations might cause mental health problems. Mental health problem is a dangerous illness tha eat us from the inside and can cause death. Have you ever felt extremely afraid of something to the point that you could not sleep? Are you always worried about what people think about you or what should you do? Have you experienced a panic attack? Have you experienced feeling so lonely that you cried for no reason? Do you have a painful memory that haunts you every single day? These are all related to mental health problems. You may think that you are being irrational or you might hate yourself for acting differently but you might want to check if you have a mental health problem.
Early warning signs of a problem
Mentalhealth.gov listed some early warning signs of a problem. If you or someone you know is experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors, this can be an early warning sign of a problem:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
These are early warning signs, if not treated it can lead to a serious consequence which is suicide. Some people also experience harming themeselves or self-harm. Mental health is not something one should ignore because a person suffering from it can not just brush it aside. They need help and guidance to fix their illnes.
How Filipinos react to Mental Health?
Unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, Philippines disregard the importance of mental health. We do not have organizations in the Philippines that directly address the problem. If we have one, it is not supported by the government. We often just advice our friend to get over it and move on. However, a mental health problem does not simply go away. You can not just remove it from your system. It does not go away on its own that is why people with mental health disorders continue to deteriorate mentally. Aside from the lack of funding from the government, there is also a lack of information about mental health.
There are some articles about DEPRESSION in magazines but other mental illnesses such as PTSD and ANXIETY are not mentioned. Yes, anxiety is also a mental health problem. There is a lack of information about mental health illnesses that many Filipinos think that they are normal. Did you know that anger and laziness may be related to a traumatic childhood or problematic life? In the Philippines, we send hate to bullies when we learned that the victim died of suicide. However, we never addressed the fact that it could have been prevented if we helped the victim with their mental health problem. Bullying can cause depression,ptsd, and anxiety. We usually bully the bully but does not help the victim. Once there is a mental health problem, the person does not care if you bully their bully. They are mentally trapped in a tunnel with no way out. The solution is professional help, group support, and God. Due to lack of information, we neglect this reality. We are unaware that we might be suffering from a mental health disorder.
Why do we have to be aware of mental health?
Once we know that we are suffering from mental illness, it will explain most of our actions. For the longest time, I suffered from PTSD, I was not aware of it in the past. I kept on spiraling downwards and feeling so anxious.
Mental Health problem is real and neglected. It makes people make bad decisions in life and can hinder their social activities. Knowing the problem can help us address the problem.
How Filipinos react to Mental Health
Disclaimer: I am not an expert in Mental Health Problem. What I will share are based on experiences and researches.