Lunes, Setyembre 1, 2014


Are You Depressed? Please Don't Worry Be Happy..
By: Teddy Cho and Ver M. Garcia

  In photo from L to R: Dr. Zita Soriano, Dr. Dinah Nadera, Dr. Annie Cruz and Dr. Bhabes Arcena of the the Philippine Psychiatric Association, Inc. An affilite Society of the Phil. College of Physicians. Original Photo by. Teddy Cho.
When one is preoccupied with sadness and interferes with one's job, life and family.. it's no longer normal. It can be classified as a depression.

In the advent of technological advancement there are of course several ways of coping up with depression. Younger generations cope up through the gadgets like: celfons, laptops, Ipads, smartphones etc. The older ones use prohibited drugs/ pharmacological drugs, alcohol,  and even illicit sex affairs to escape depression. Although professional help are seldom tapped in comparison with the Americans and European cultures. Consulting a psychiatrist is but similar  to a physician treating a common cold  in the body.

In the Philippine setting, going to a psychiatrist when depressed has become a stigma  or tantamounts to being labeled as mentally ill and it is a sad truth that can possibly put an already depressed person from mild to a severe state of depression. Those who are in politics and the affluent  as well are the most vulnerable to these scenario. What about an ordinary person on the street who has no one to talk to except himself? How does he coped up with depression? For sure, strong bonds with friends and relatives are sometimes a great help; Spiritual counselling of priest, nuns and pastors are heartwarming and indispensable; Listening and watching soap operas on TV, internet or radio; Watching a movie with friends while eating an ice cream or a popcorn;  Reading a humorous story or writing a poem can be therapeutic and relaxing. In almost every aspect of our lives laughter.. as the saying goes is still  the best medicine. Also prayer and meditation should be availed of when experiencing or undergoing a trial. Better still, if one is undergoing a depression symptoms.

'May Bukas Pa' by.. Rico J. Puno


There's a correlation between the physical and mental health issues. "You might even recognize it by yourself if you've seen it and experience it. It might even save lives and prevents suicide attempts" said Dr. Dinah Nadera, MD. Do not under estimate your capacity as a media practitioner to foil a suicide attempt. Talk to a person and listen carefully. Our present  government health policy has overlooked this link between the body and mind, when it comes to government health policies it needs an overhauling of health policy experts.


1.) Physical/ Biological manifestations like: fatigue, weakness, vague aches and pains experienced all over the body, weight loss due to loss of appetite.

2.) Emotional manifestations: guilty feelings, hopelessness, worthlessness, helplessness. Another red flag, anhedonia - loss of interest of doing what usually is happy doing or inability to feel pleasure at what he/she usually enjoys doing, loss of interest in life and social interactions. 

3.) Thought manifestations, hopelessness, difficulty or inability to make decisions, poor self esteem, suicidal ideations, difficulty/ inability to concentrate.

4.) Behavioral manifestation; disturb/ poor sleeper, poor appetite, reduced sex drive, frequent smoking, (don't be a loser.. stop smoking- Robert Proctor).


Actor Comedian Robin Williams

Gen. Angelo Reyes

Although Actor Comedian  Robin Williams colorful life ended with a sad note, improper reporting of suicide stories have a copycat effect on a person suffering from depressions. The manner in which, how it was done (suicide) should be treated carefully by a media / media practitioner specially the construction of words or verbal engineering. Ex. instead of using the word "successfully committed suicide" use "completed suicide" instead. In Europe however, there was a novel that was banned because of its copycat/ imitative effect on potentially depressed persons. In a media  health forum held every Tuesday at Annabel's Restaurant in T. Morato, Quezon City tackled the issue, the guidelines were provided on what role the media should do in reporting suicide cases.


"Sleep and you shall be well." Inadequate sleep could lead to gastric ulcers and even depression according to findings of researchers in University of Hongkong. The two year study led by Dr. Mariel Koo Wang was aimed at finding the relationship between the amount of sleep in relation with healthy brains. The study revealed that depressions is also an illness that should be addressed clinically.


The Depressed Child                                                                       The Manic Child

Being in an unusually sad mood                          -               Being in an usually happy mood

Refusal to do things he usually enjoys               -               'Short fuse' or temper tantrums

Unusual appetite or sleep changes                       -               Shorter sleeping hours

Feelings of worthlessness or guilt                        -               Excessive talkativeness

Fatigue                                                                                  -                Hyperactivity 

Thoughts about suicide                                         -                Difficulty concentrating

Chronic physical complaints that can't be explained -        For a teenager, risky behavior and boredom

Single parents who usually leaves their children alone at home should watch for this signs and symptoms. A tap on a shoulder and a smile is not enough to communicate but kind words do encourages. But, for all we know a big hug and a kiss and a smile is perhaps what is needed to communicate what can not be done in words.


"Be soft, don't let the world make you hard. Don't let the pain make you hate. Don't let bitterness steal your sweetness. Stay steadfast even though the rest of the world may doubt. The best helping hand is at the end of your arms. When you feel you can't  handle things, just put your hands together and pray. While we do what we can, God will do what we can not". Happy days and more blessings to others. (VergarciaBlogs)

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