Mental health is one of the most overlooked conditions in the Philippines. People are accustomed of the taboo that mental illness is about losing sanity where a person cannot think or carry themselves well. They are oftentimes regarded as harmful and in need of care from an institution. Little do we acknowledge that depression is one of those mental conditions.
We might have used the term in one way or the other. Some people tag sadness or broken-heartedness as depression. In reality, it’s a combination of the chemical imbalance in your brain which cause mood swings, irrational thoughts, suicidal tendencies, anxieties, and despair. It strikes through several triggers but others deem an unknown cause.
I used to go through such condition but through mindfulness and help from a bunch of people, I was able to get back on track. While it is true that being of service is challenging when we are the ones who are in need of saving, below are some practices that we can adapt when the situation is trying to win over us:
1. Find a distraction. Whether it’s in a form of seeking a new environment, playing music, venturing to art, or watching shows, you better go for it.
2. Talk to the right people. Not everyone can understand you but there are some who are willing to make time just to make sure that you’ll be ushered out of the situation. Love begets love. Many times it’s affection that will kill all the negative madness in this world. It’s not boxed to the idea of romance but more on finding love in all forms.
3. Help others. While it may seem so hard, I must attest to its effectiveness. Each time I’m at my low point, I make sure that I reach out and help others. Helping them may come in different ways — often, it’s cheering them up or being there to aid them in their errands.
4. Think of your dreams and ambitions. Paulo Coelho said in one of his writings that “it is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” Indeed, when you have something to look forward to, everything becomes a path of happiness.
5. Do not nurse the feeling. It’s okay to cry once but never allow it to be your lifestyle. Battle it out. Your mind is powerful.
6. Know your triggers. It’s a call to awareness of one’s self which in turn will help us keep track of the causes and eventually find ways to prevent or totally get rid of them.
Be brave. Everyone goes through hardships. While it may seem easier to surrender, you must seek for victory by bouncing back to happiness. Find your life purpose. Ask yourself how these negative emotions can be converted into something that can help others. Is venturing into art a new way for me to represent people of the same condition and raise awareness? Is my way of fighting anxiety has helped me strengthen my relationships by making sure that I schedule meet ups with them? Have I talked to God? Have I realized how empty life is without Him?
You are not alone. Fighter, survive!