Are you healthy Mentally? 

I was checking my notification this morning and saw that  somebody liked my previous post. I discovered this blog called New found thinking and the post is about  the writer’s personal experience on anxiety, depression and stress and other mental health issues. So two things crossed my mind.

First Anxiety and depression is so common. Everyone has felt anxious or depressed at one point in their life. Does that mean I have mental issues as well? How would this affect me in the long run?

Second thought is what is the state of mental health in my country which is the Philippines? I know that mental health is not on a  top priority in the government’s agenda. But how bad is it?

How do I deal with stress, anxiety and depression
Stress at work is pretty common. If you love your job and not feeling any sort of stress then I envy you. Add that  work stress  with  challenges with  your personal life then anxiety kicks in. If your anxiety worsen then depression is not far off from happening.

Everybody has bad days or even a bad week? But if you spend your day feeling stress and depressed for a long period of time, then that’s depression. But if you just feel bad for a day and you are able pick up yourself up the quickly  then that’s pretty normal.

So what do I do when I am down? Instead of worrying I find distractions. I either read a book, watch a movie, listen to music or just play games. I am careful enough to ensure that I am not spending to much time on distraction. At the end of the day you  have to go back and face you problem  because problem would not solve itself for you.

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There is a quote from Albert Einstein that I really like.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

If you’re angry and had a fight with your partner, a colleague at work or a family member and you’re still angry when you are trying to fix the issue; chances are the fight will worsen instead of getting resolve.So relax then go back to the problem.

It is always good to find someone to talk to when you are sad or depressed. Having someone to support you would go a long way.

The state of mental health in the Philippines

I saw this article in about the state of mental health in the Philippines. Here is what I learned:

  •  Currently there is no law enacted for the national mental health. There were efforts to create mental health law since 1980 but none has been implemented.
  • Only 5% of the national health budget goes to mental health. The remaining 95% goes to operational costs of medical institution run by the government and personel’s salary.
  • Mental health related illness is not covered on mental health insurance packages.
  • Sad to say out of 100 million population there are only 700 doctors and 1000 psychiatric nurses.
  • The said doctors are mostly in private practice and their fees is not affordable for low income earners.
  • Medical institution are mostly located on the National Capital Region. It is a challenge for patients living  in remote parts of the country access to mental health services.

Personally I know a couple of people who has mental health issue. My cousin was diagnosed with schizophrenia. A former colleague suffered from depression and committed suicide. There are a few more who  are suffering  from the mental health issues.
One of the biggest concerns regarding mental health in the Philippines is that people are not accustomed to going to Psychiatrist. People are ashamed to admit that they have a problem and information is not readily available to the public.

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Here are some signs of mental health qissue based on the site mental health America.

  • Long period of depression
  • Dramatic changes on the eating and sleeping pattern
  • Always extremely worried and anxious
  • Feeling excessive anger
  • Having delusions and hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Irrational thinking

Visit their site for the complete list of signs of mental health issue.

The cost of psychiatric check up is not affordable in the Philippines. My colleague at work had her husband visit a psychiatrist and in cost them Php3000 for an 1 hour session. We know that it would take more than 1 session to address a mental health issues. I hope the goverment check the programs that are related to mental health and review the propose mental health law.

Final thought. Most people downplay the signs. Instead of admitting the they have prolonged depression, they brush it off as simple case of sadness. If you have at least one or more of the signs, have yourself check. It’s better to do something about it now rather than hope that the issue would cure itself in the future.
What are your thoughts?