Malady of Troubled Minds: Hearing Voices and Shattered Thoughts

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

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.

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