Updated post--Scorll down to the bottom part if you want to watch the interview of a woman who DID and has 11 different personalities.


What would you do if a loved-one suffers from mental health problems? Or worse, what would you do if you start suffering from it? Are you well-informed about mental health? Do you have enough knowledge to understand how a sufferer's pieces of mind goes?


This is my second post on mental health. I love blogging about mental disorders because I know that at some point, I am helping inform the public about the importance of mental health. This has become one of the advocacies that I am supporting, because I believe,mental health is one of those issues that the national government has not given so much attention. And I would be glad for the day when mental health is included in our government’s health programs.


I have also experienced mental health problems at some point in my life and I do not deny this.And that is why, this topic is very close to me, this is something personal for me. The experience has taught me so much about mental health and it gave me a different love, compassion and understanding to people who suffered the same.



I am glad that more and more television shows are starting to center around mental health issues. It becomes more powerful and informative when it is the gist of a soap opera. This is why I watch Rhodora X. Not because I like the actors and actresses portraying the roles of mentally ill patients, I would have to commend them too, they are really doing a good job in giving justice to the roles, but because I want to know how deep they can go to informing the public about the perils of deteriorating mental health. And also, I just love psychological drama.

In RhodoraX, the female antagonist/protagonist is diagnosed with DID or Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder. According to WebMD, Dissociative identity disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder) is an effect of severe trauma during early childhood, usually extreme, repetitive physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Although it is seen as the most severe and chronic manifestation of the dissociative disorders that cause multiple personalities, and understanding how the multiple personalities develop is difficult, it is very real and it does exist.

Photo: GMA7

In layman terms, this disorder stems from trauma that the patient experienced during early childhood such as
repetitive sexual or emotional abuse. It is also thought of to be a coping mechanism- the patient disassociate herself literally from a situation or experience that causes stress such as violence, or something painful to assimilate with her conscious self.


So far, the television show has laid out all the symptoms and the manifestations of a person with DID, and so imho, they are doing a good job in informing the public about this mental disorder. It usually start with having two identities living in one body, and then more and more personalities come out depending on how extreme the trauma is.

Photo: Recapo.com


I have started my interest in DID at such a young age, I watched a movie called “Raising Cain” starring John Lithgow. Written by Brian de Palma, the story was also about multiple personality disorder. Carter/Cain (Lithgow) has more than three personalities, including that of a woman named Margo and a child Josh.
In Rhodora X, there are also three personalities. Roxanne is the violent, strong personality, while Rhodora is meek. When both personalities went under a more traumatic experience, another personality has started to emerge, Rowena, the child.

Also, Magpakailanman’s episode last Saturday, “My Psychotic Husband”, the title says it all, was extraordinary. It also touched one very important aspect why mental health is not given that much attention here in our country. Poverty. Money is the biggest problem why people with mental health problems just go deeper down to the depths where their illness takes them.  The wife could not bring the husband to see a doctor when he started manifesting the symptoms.  Because of that, without proper medication, the husband fell deeper into his insanity and ended up butchering their month-old baby. This kind of tragedy or crimes would have been
avoided if we give importance to mental health. What would be more painful is that an insane person cannot be held liable for a crime he committed.

Photo: sydney.edu.au


And I would also like to thank Ms. Mel Tiangco for personally saying that she hopes the national government looks upon the issues of Mental Health in the Philippines. Living with the stresses of everyday life, we are all prone to mental exhaustion and mental problems. As long as we know the importance of having a sound mind, and how to achieve that and by focusing on some kind of spirituality, then we could lessen the cases of mentally ill in our country by not being a part of statistics.



The last week also, another tragedy related to mental health problems happened, the death of Helena Belmonte, a Fil-Am model,  who at a young age was found dead after falling from a condominium unit. Reports also said that she was suffering from Bipolar disorder and had committed suicide.



I cannot hide my disappointment when I hear or read news similar to this.The bottom line is that, support and acceptance from family, friends and society is very important to people suffering from mental problems. One thing that keeps us from acknowledging or giving support to family members or friends who are suffering with this kind of malaise is stigma.


Psychiatry is very expensive in a country like the Philippines. For the middle class citizens, and for the  minimum wage earner, spending 2000 Pesos for a session of Psychiatry is impractical when you have other necessities to spend your money on. Medications also doesn’t come cheap. Although the purchase of sleeping pills and anti-depressant are regulated, we would wish to have more cheaper but equally effective pills to cure this malady. I wish for the day that we accept the fact that going to a Psychiatrist does not necessarily mean we are insane, but as a preventive measure.


The media can do so much to help educate society about mental health.Produce shows that aims to help understand mental health problems, and can help society with acceptance. 

In a society that is very judgmental, living with the stigma is sometimes more difficult than having the disease itself. Because if people are educated enough about mental health,then the patients won’t have to live with the stigma, but rather learn to live normally with the help of therapy and medications. Many lives would have been saved and restored. 





So, is there hope for people with mental illness? Yes, there is. As long as the patient has the full support of family and friends and proper medication, they can pick up the pieces of their lives and can live normally.


Below are two TED videos that I have listened to for quite sometime, and this helped me a lot understand what is actually going on in the minds of the patients. I could almost relate to their story, although my experience was milder compared to them. Both women have diagnosed mental illnesses, and they have both found ways to live with it and lead life as normally as they could.



Elyn Saks: A Tale of Mental Illness- From the Inside





Eleanor Longden: The Voices in My Head

Update: 08/31/2018

If you're still a bit doubtful,below is a new video I watched about DID. The woman interviewd here has 11 different personalities. 

Keeping the faith,

Mei


Disclaimer:

The author is not in any way associated with the network, or the employees of the network, not is she paid to write this content. Opinions expressed here are solely of the author’s.


These past two weeks  has been the most thought-provoking days of my life. The recent series of events made me think about two of the most important things, life and death.

Death, or the idea of death confronted me when someone close to me was diagnosed with Leukemia just this Sunday. The mere thought would send me into minutes of blank stares, deep thoughts and silent moments confronting my worst fears. With the dawn of modern technology, life-threatening situations like this becomes more easier to understand and giving doctors a bit off the pressure of informing family members about their patient’s situation. Researching on our own gives us a more practical way of understanding whatever it is that’s happening with the patient. But even with the latest technology’s ability to inform us about our illnesses, there are still a lot questions that books or the information superhighway can’t answer, questions that leave us hanging in the dark.

People say that life offers us plenty of choices,  at the end of the day, it all comes down to only two important choices that we will have to make, that will define our whole life: the choice of whether to live or to die.

Photo: 10px.com

 If we choose to live, we carry with us the responsibility of living the consequences of having to survive daily, to take more risks, to experience more pain.  Every single moment that we are alive is always a constant battle to do what is right, to do what is best, versus doing what is wrong , which coincidentally is more often than not, the easiest way.

Life gives us the opportunity to help the people who need us most, of sharing the love in its most physical form , hugs and kisses.  

 But if we choose to die, we will be free from the hardships and consequences of life. And with it, all our problems and our fears and worries will disappear.




Death is freedom. But we leave the living with unbearable sorrow, of nights of tears, of ifs and whys that no answer would satisfy. This kind of freedom is something that no one is ever brave enough to face. This is something that we all have to be ready with , in every aspect of our being. Because even though books have told us what happens when we die, by people who had near death experiences, nothing will come close to truly understanding what really happens unless we experience it ourselves.

Religion taught us that we meet our Maker when we die.  This thought should give us the reason to live a life well spent, because throwing our life away by doing senseless things while we are alive is an insult to our Maker.  Death will give us the opportunity to meet Him, but life gives us the opportunity to glimpse of how our life would be in the afterlife.

I have tried suicide more than a couple of times, but I never really understood the meaning of life or death. Maybe it's immaturity, or selfishness. Until lately. I realized, I wasn't really meant to die that day because I have not experienced anything close to what the books had written about near death experiences, instead, I saw a bright light and I heard a voice telling me that it wasn't my time yet. Maybe it was just the effect of the medications I had, or even the hallucinating effect of sleeping pills. Nonetheless, whatever it was, I felt different after hearing that distinct voice.

Photo:quoteswave.com


I just finished reading Mitch Albom’s  book  “For One More Day” and this gave me new insights of how people, on the verge of dying, feels and what can happen during those crucial hours of our lives.
And I asked myself the question, “ If I am caught in choosing between life or death, which would I choose?” And if I am dying and I would be given one more day to live, what would I do? Who will I spend the day with?



In the book, Chick Benetto spends one day with his dead mom, the one day that he was in a near-death experience.  This one day ended up changing his life. Spending one day with someone you love can really change everything. Although we will all die, when our time comes, when the flame in our candle die, the loved ones whom we leave behind would not be in an unspeakable sorrow, but will have an understanding of how we had lived a life well spent.

What would you choose and do?

You can get the book here or you can go check out my Amazon Store by clicking the link in the navigation tabs above.

Keeping the faith,

Mei

Get the book on kindle.

What would you do when finally the dream that you have for so long in your heart come true? Would you not spend all of your resources and efforts in sharing your happiness with the people whom you shared your life with through laughter and tears?

People have different ways of expressing their happiness and gratitude. Some would splurge on the people they love. Thus is the case of my friend, colleague and boss (TF Events and Resources). For almost 20 years, she and her husband have been wanting to have a child. They spent  much of their resources in trying to find ways of having a child, trying even artificially. But, the dream became as elusive as it was.

After a lifetime of waiting, they finally had a baby, although not through conception, but yes, they now have a child. The child became the bond that the couple needed. And so, after a year, the baby would celebrate her 1st birthday and the couple went all out to make the birthday as memorable as it could.

Spending close to a million for a birthday party might be lavish to us “regular people” but for those who have more, money is not an issue when they want to share their happiness with the people who matters to them.



One of my passions is to organize events like birthdays, weddings and company events. I have organized company Christmas parties, high school reunions, with the help of a team of course, birthday parties and co-coordinated/organized fun runs. I just never thought that I would be able to be a part of a big event. What I mean when I say big event depends on the number of guests invited and the total amount spent.



God surprised me with something that pushed me to my limits. I was given the opportunity to co-coordinate a luxurious birthday celebration when the person in-charge could not due to an emergency. The responsibility that I expected I would have to take part initially, doubled. And it was a good thing that my confidence was at it’s highest level at that moment.



The event was the 1st birthday celebration of TF Events and Resources Chairman and President’s daughter. The guest list was a grand 500 adult and 50 kids. The total amount spent was a jaw-dropping Php800,000 not including the petty things you would spend while getting supplies like snacks and gas.

What was more overwhelming was the amount of work I needed to do to fill what my colleague wasn’t able to do, 3 audio-visual presentations or montage needed to be completed in 2 days. And all the while I thought I would only be assisting in the distribution of souvenirs or in the guest registration. It has been more than that. What made it worse was that I didn’t know any of the suppliers or their people, so it was all about me asking people who and what their roles were, darting from one side to the other side, talking to people about involved in the whole production.

But, since I think that this was meant to be , I just gave it my all. And it was all worth it. The nice words and congratulations for a successful party coming from the guests was more than enough affirmation for me that I did a wonderful job and that I was pushed to my limits of giving the best that I could. Of course the success is not entirely mine but belonged to the whole team.

With Ruther Urquia, Master Puppeteer and Ventriloquist

As Ruther , The Puppeteer ( Philippines Got Talent) told me, “You are doing a great job filling in for a colleague. A pretty reliever”, when I told him to excuse me if I’d sometimes miss something. That alone inspired me to work even harder.

My reflection on this: God sees the deepest desires of our hearts. Things happen for a reason. It may sometimes be not in the best circumstances, but when you accept the challenge and the risk with all your heart, and trust 100% in Him, exert 101% effort, our dreams will come true.

Of course, this is not entirely my efforts.  Our team is comprised of Ms. Lilibeth Nerias ( she is actually the coordinator, but missed out in the last days because of some health problems), Ms. Ghail Dacles , Mr. Erwin Locsin, Jr. and our very own company president and mother of the celebrant.




By the way, we had food kiosks outside the venue serving fish ball and french fries. A favorite children's party must-have: dirty ice cream, complete with the sorbetero cart. It wasn't branded but I can assure everyone it wasn't dirty, it was homemade.


Oh, did I say we had our own Starbucks kiosk rented out to give free hot or cold Starbucks coffee to guests? I can't explain how I felt to see adults behaving and acting like kids at that time. There was magic in the party indeed! 

Here are some of the highlights of that event. Sorry I could not take much photos since I was on the ground busy helping out make it a success.




Venue:  The Blue Leaf Filipinas, Sinulog Hall, Belle Avenue, Aseana, Paranaque City



If you want to serve the best dishes for your guest, I would recommend Tjioe's (pronounced as T-chew). They serve oriental fusion, so this is perfect for those who love Chinese food. For a whopping P880.00 per head buffet, the menu includes salmon, chicken teriyaki, oriental fried rice, shrimp tempura and yes, we have roast beef and steak for everybody!

People behind Innov8 Photography Photobooth and Walkabooth
Photography: Walkabooth MNL and Photobooth by Innov8Photography

Cake/Cupcakes and Candy Buffet:










Give-aways and souvenirs


The give-aways and souvenirs



Lights and Sounds:                    
     


Host and Magic/Puppet Show:  Team Ruther (Ruther Urquia The Puppet Master)

Recording : Soundweavers, Pasong Tamo, Makati City

Voice-over talent: Ms. Carmen Cabiles

I already did a separate post about our recording here. The Diva Records.

Life-size Cartoon characters: Perma Color Inc.





Oh and here are some restroom selfies! I just can't get enough of Blue Leaf Filipinas' posh restroom! Keep pushing more! :):):)





TO GOD BE THE GLORY!


Keep the faith,

mei



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