How To Spot Depression In Your Family And Friends

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Amidst the chaos of the pandemic, openly discussing about worries and fears is vital at this time. Mental health awareness can pull a body away from the drowning waves of negative emotions. With no access to Psychiatric drugs or face-to-face therapy, how can you spot depression?

Since my background is in Psychology, my friends and loved ones feel safe to divulge the stories of their lives. I listen to their problems and provide ways to help them cope. When two of my close friends were diagnosed with depression, I immediately noticed the changes in their behavior and thought patterns. A physical condition such as an infected wound is easy to spot, but depression is another story.

Little do you know that mental illnesses such as depression is persistent in the Philippines. In fact, the suicide rate in the country is 2.5% for males and 1.7% in females (per 100,000 people)! Worldwide, close to 800,000 people die by suicide every year says WHO. You can only imagine these stats increasing as we are in the climax of a crisis. 

Depression is more than just the grave feelings of sadness. It is a serious mental illness that negatively affects one’s overall functioning. The experience of depression varies for each individual. While others may feel scared with their impending doom, some may feel apathetic about the entire situation. Evidence have shown that men have a tendency to feel restless and angry when they are depressed.

Read more: DEPRESSION, AWARENESS AND COPING: KNOW DEPRESSION, NO STIGMA


Why Do We Love?


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As negativity infiltrate social media and as unfortunate events make noise, it takes conscious effort to highlight the goodness in the world. Hence, I steered my focus on love. Why do we love? 

Love is addicting, beautiful, heart-breaking, and exciting! Often, these descriptions are felt at the same time. Why do we choose to put ourselves inside this emotional roller-coaster? Does love make our lives meaningful or does it help us to escape from existential loneliness? If romantic love serves a purpose, what is it exactly? 


Not one law has been put to place regarding the reason why human beings fall in love. Nonetheless, here are some interesting theories. 


#1: LOVE IS AN ARTISTIC EXPRESSION


I have gathered the opinions of my Interior Designer and Photographer friends to elaborate the reason why love exists. To them, love is a form of self-expression that binds society. Acts of love are performative and creative. You perform the acts of service, time, and touch. On the other hand, you creatively express through giving gifts and words. There is a sense of fulfillment in receiving validation from your partner (or "audience"). 


Much like art, love helps us to connect to our audience given our imperfections. It makes life worth living!



"We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for." 
- Dead Poets Society movie


Quarantine Survival Guide: How To Beat The Cabin Fever

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Due to the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19, many countries have imposed community quarantine. As we are practicing social distancing and our abilities to go to outside are restricted, many of us have felt the "cabin fever" in one way or the other. What exactly is cabin fever?

Cabin fever is not categorized as a Psychological disorder yet. However, its origins date back to the early 1800s when people were home bound due to the typhus fever. It is the unpleasant feeling experienced by a person in isolation for a period of time. It was recently described by Mr. Vaile Wright, who is a Psychologist and a Director of clinical research and quality at the American Psychological Association.

According to him, cabin fever: "involves a range of negative emotions and distress related to restricted movement: irritability, boredom, some hopelessness and even, behaviorally, restlessness and difficulty concentrating. Those would be the constellation of symptoms one might expect if they were feeling that way."

Many people can perceive being in a quarantine as being trapped in an isolation chamber created to protect us. Boredom, irritability, and hopelessness are some of the most common emotions you see on social media platforms these days. It is perfectly normal to be scared when faced with this serious pandemic that has taken many lives. Know that your feelings are valid.

Why You Should Let Your Emotions Flow And Focus On The Solution

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To say that the year 2019 ran by smoothly is completely false! It was one of the most challenging years of my personal and professional life. There were moments when I find myself crying in the corner and praying that things will get better. However, the closure of one issue is the birth of another. With the unending cycle of ups and downs, I learned how to adapt to different types of situations. 2019 has thought me some of the most valuable lessons that I hold dearly to this day. Despite its punches and blessings, I would not have it any other way!

Emotional regulation was one of the priceless lessons I reaped from the past year. Emotions - we all have them - but can we control them? 

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