Open-mindedness and Sensitivity: An Awareness on Mental Health

We may not be aware of it, but sometimes, we carelessly use terms that add up to the poor stigma on mental health. Or rather, maybe it’s the poor stigma on it that’s making us lightly use these terms:

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These graphics made by Justine Tabije are just some of the mental health terms we misuse. Another one I’d commonly hear is, “sobrang depressed ko today.(I’m so depressed today).” It is commonly used when feeling extreme sadness but people fail to realize that depression is a serious mental illness. It is something that some people really suffer from and the only solution to keep it at bay is medication and psychological treatment.

Other misused terms:

  • ADHD: used when someone’s too hyper or wacky. “May ADHD ka nanaman ngayon. (You have ADHD again today.)”
  • Autistic: used when someone thinks or acts differently. “Alam mo siya, autistic talaga ‘yun. (You know, that person’s really autistic.)”

Did I miss out on more commonly misused mental health diagnosis?

Here’s the thing.

We don’t casually use physical ailments as adjectives, right? We don’t say, “Hay, kina-cancer nanaman ako. (*Sigh* I’m having cancer again.)” to denote any form of mood, attitude, or behavior. We don’t go around using these terms lightly because we know that it’s a serious matter.

So why can’t we have the same attitude towards mental health?

Here in the Philippines, we need to have better mental health awareness. People need to be educated more about this matter so that those who suffer from it will no longer suffer in silence, in fear of being judged, of being thought of as weak.

People who suffer from it are not weak. In fact, they are strong for trying their best to face life despite the illnesses that no one can see. They’re strong for always trying their best to look and seem okay, when deep down inside, something is eating them up.

Let’s have better awareness and understanding about this matter. Just because we can’t see it the same way as physical illnesses, doesn’t make it any less important to heal and understand.

Other mental-health-related articles:

Why We Should Talk About People With (Dis)Abilities More Often

DOH Launches Their Mental Health Hotline Numbers

SPARK, The Movement: Raising Awareness on Depression and Mental Health

Shattering the Mental Health Stigma: Philippine Mental Health Act Campaign Launched

What’s your opinion about mental health?


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