Depression, Awareness and Coping: Know depression, No Stigma

By: Anna Agoncillo and BreakDStigma
Image Credits: Mateus Lucena via Flickr
Understanding the Big D
1 in 17 people in Singapore languished Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) at some point in their lives (Institute of Mental Health, 2013). Despite its prevalence, only a few people seek help because they are afraid of the social stigma or labels that can be placed on them.

We as human beings fear the unknown. Hence, the lack of adequate knowledge on mental illnesses lead to increase in fear, negative sentiments, and social stigma.

This is why, it is very important to educate society and heighten awareness about how serious depression is. Understanding depression will help build a more empathetic and supportive environment wherein depressed individuals will feel safe to share their experiences and seek treatment.

Loss, Grief, and Coping: Rest in Paradise

By: Anna Agoncillo

They say that first cut is the deepest, but the second one feels as deep. My grandfather died last year, and now my grandmother who was battling Lung Cancer is gone.

Theoretical Basis of Bereavement

You might be familiar with the K├╝bler-Ross's 5 stages of grief. According to this model, we go through different stages during our bereavement namely: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (Santrock, 2007). Although there are specific stages, the sequence is not fixed (Axelrod, 2006). Nonetheless, the end result is peaceful acceptance.

On the other hand, George Bonanno argues that there are no stages to go through because of our natural reaction to grief, called resilience (Bonanno, 2004).

Hold on! She's on her way to Paradise.

They say that first cut is the deepest, but the second one feels as deep. My grandfather died last year, and now my grandmother who was battling Lung Cancer is gone.

At first, I was in denial. When my mom told me about my grandmother’s passing, I didn’t even cry. I just told her to be strong and that I’m glad that she’s in a better place now. But, I felt the heaviness in my chest.

I thought I was emotionally strong because I was mentally prepared for the worst. You see, the doctors had given her 4 days to live.

As I was telling my friends about the big news, my tears rushed down. It’s reality hitting me in the head. She’s gone. I can no longer taste the food she cooks, nor can I hear her say she loves me.

PART II, Lucid Dreaming and Dream Control: A Peek into the depths of the Unconscious

By: Anna Agoncillo

Films like "Inception" and "Waking Life" tickled our curiosities to the possibility of being to able to control our dreams. Imagine being fully aware of what you’re dreaming, and being able to create objects, people, situations or even travel across multiple dimensions to the extent that it may seem real to you.

It sounds powerful, doesn’t it? The good news is that, with practice, even you can become a lucid dreamer. In addition, further application of lucid dreaming and various techniques can give you the ability to control your dreams.

Lucid dreaming is a learned cognitive skill that enables the dreamer to know that they are dreaming while they are dreaming (Zadra et al., 1992; LeBerge & Levitan, 2007). It is highly vivid and immersive in which you’ll experience multi-sensory hallucinatory effect (Snoozon, n.d.). In a sense, it feels like you’re awake but in reality, you’re sound asleep.

Lucid dreaming transcends physical limitations. It let’s you experience your wildest fantasies such as swimming with the dolphins, flying across the skies, having a pet dinosaur, being a mermaid, and so on. It let’s you explore your inner self and sometimes towards a deeper spiritual or existential level.

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