Into the 3rd Month of The Year (Hello, March!) | By Maureen Cambay

Let’s admit it. We’ve always been told to compete, to aim for the highest grade, to achieve our dreams by the time we’ve reached a certain age, to be better than anyone else yet rarely have we ever been told that:

“You are enough.”

I’m not telling anyone to settle for less but what I’m saying is that there are times that we have to accept that our pacing is different than someone else’s. We have to accept that it will really take time for us to be the person God wants us to be and it includes not rushing certain aspects of our lives just because it’s not the same as the majority’s.

For example, a lovelife and career. I’m 23 (turning 24 this year, kinda old), still NBSB (no boyfriend since birth) but sometimes society is pressuring me to have a boyfriend. I know in my heart that I’m not yet ready yet sometimes, in a joke, people tell me: “Bakit wala ka pang boyfriend?”, “Ireto kita kay ganyan”, etc. Yet little did they know that I’m still healing. In terms of career, I have a part time job but people tell me to aim for higher goals yet I can’t tell them that I’m still recovering from depression. It just left me speechless because I’m also convinced that: “Yes, they may be right?”

My inner promptings tell me otherwise.

Listen, if we rush things and force them to happen, we will only end up disappointed and confused, especially if we don’t live up to the high expectations of us or if we try to fit in to the society’s mold.

We are all created for unique purposes and we need to see our worth not in comparison to others but someone who’s set apart, someone who’s design is still and will always be tweaked and molded by God.

We also have different seasons and let us just enjoy every part of it. And it will take TIME. The process will be hard since it may include some pruning, sacrifice and pressure but let us remember that it will be for the best in the long run. We need to be patient. Always take note that we are all works in progress, and as Rick Warren said:

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 2.54.36 PM

I’d like to end up this with some lines from Hillsong:

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 2.54.51 PM

(Both images are from © Pinterest)

Embrace your Vulnerability | By Sakshi Sahijwani

Rejection hurts the most when it’s something you really really want. It can come in many forms. When the guy or girl you like rejects you, when you weren’t accepted to your dream school, when you don’t make the varsity team — We’ve all been there. I mean, let’s face it, it’s a part of life yet we still refuse to accept it.


Why is that though? Why is it that we refuse to accept rejection and try to turn the other face? Why does it affect us so much?

There are two types of people. People who try embracing it then crumble and people who crumble then embrace it. “Psh, their loss”, “They might have made a mistake”, “I’m better than them anyways”: These thoughts gather in people who try to embrace it as soon as they get rejected.

On the other hand, there are people who crumble then eventually embrace it. When faced with rejection, they get sad, they cry, they get frustrated — they break down. I’m telling you to crumble. Not the typical advice right?

People usually tell you to stay strong, you’ll get through it, but i’m telling you to break. I’m telling you to not fake how you’re feeling just because someone is telling you to “stay strong” because it’s “nothing”.

Stop lying and convincing yourself to be okay because it’s okay to feel that way. In society nowadays, being vulnerable is considered weak. I however think it’s a beautiful thing. Contradictory, i think it makes you SO strong. You faced your rejection headstrong, and that’s the strongest thing you can ever do.

Vulnerability is terrifying. The courage it takes to reveal your heart is one of the most daunting yet rewarding experiences in life.

In time, you’ll be set free.

You Are Not Alone | By Lexine Dy

Author’s Note: Lexine Dy is a 17-year-old girl who believes that she expresses herself best through writing. Her spoken word poem entitled ‘You Are Not Alone’ is written in the perspective of a friend of someone who’s going through a mental health issue. After gaining inspiration from the insights and experiences of others, she believed it was so important to get her message across by sharing it to a wider audience. Share this with anyone you think needs to hear this.


Forgive me, for I may not know exactly what you may be going through,

But please know that I will do everything I can to be here for you

Every waking hour, I’ll send you virtual flowers and remind you to take a shower

Just until you know how much I care.

I’m sorry for all the times I tried to help but sort of make things feel worse

Now I know, sometimes, actions can speak louder than words

Someone once said, “It’s pointless to try to fix someone’s illness”

Because you can’t change someone without their willingness

It could get exhausting—turning one into something they are not

It doesn’t work, it definitely does not

But it is not our fault, and neither is it theirs.

So, all that’s left for us to do is to simply be there

To catch them when they fall, bend, or break,

To pick up the pieces no matter how long it will take,

To listen to them with our heart, ears, and arms open wide,

Ready to accept and support whatever it is they decide

Because that’s what true friends are for;

Not to tell them what to do, not to do, or what the future has in store,

But to reassure them that they matter.

And it doesn’t matter what others say,

“Mind over matter”, “at least”, “Everything’s gonna be okay”

You have every right to feel how you’re feeling

By the way, how are you feeling?

Is there anything I can do to help?

Help is something you are allowed to ask for

Whenever you need it, just call my name, and I’ll be right at your door (step)

Every step of the way, I’ll be cheering you on

I’ll be right by your side

And when you feel like there’s just not much to live for,

I’ll tell you I’m so glad you’re alive

Like a broken record, I’ll leave you a thousand messages saying,

“I believe in you. I care for you. I’m here to support you.

I miss you. I love you. I’ll always be there for you.”

Yet, for weeks, I still don’t hear a word from you.

The doctors say, “Only time will tell when you will be ready”

And that it’s not your fault that you’re feeling unsteady

I’m sorry for making you feel sorry for making me worry

Cycles of apologies float above my head in its own little flurry

“It’s complicated”; that’s how grown-ups would describe such

The feeling of having a friend who’s going through so much

You must be feeling overwhelmed or afraid to overwhelm me,

But don’t worry, I can handle it. It’s my job to take care of me.

I know you never asked me to do any of this for you,

But after everything you’ve done for me, this is the least I could do.

My dearest friend, we’ll get through this together

We’ll brave every storm, wind, season, or weather.

Take my hand, and I promise you won’t turn me into stone

Because in this battle, you are not alone.

Love, Mental Health, and Other Everyday Gifts: A (Post) Talang Dalisay Valentine’s Special ❤ | By Karmella Tapia

While Valentine’s Day is not everyone’s cup of tea, the holiday still receives an enormous amount of positive attention for the generous love it celebrates at its very core. Indeed, whatever one’s opinion on bouquets and chocolate boxes is, it’s hard not to be moved by the lengths people will go to in spreading a little more love into this divided world.

To honor the *ahem* well-loved occasion, 10 of Talang Dalisay’s own Student Ambassadors have come forward with their personal experiences and stories of giving or receiving unconditional love in the face of mental health struggles.


We hope their honest accounts can inspire you, move your heart, and remind you of the power held in the simplest of kind actions:

“Coming from a Chinese school that made mental health struggles seem like something that makes you of lesser value, I had little to no knowledge of what to do when my friend opened up to me about him struggling with his mental health. It was scary, because I felt like I might make the situation worse for him if I didn’t act properly. So I listened to him—I listened to everything he had to say. All the heartaches and regrets. After that, I learned that just giving that person time and showing that you care and that you’re there for him is more than enough. Ever since, I’ve learned to allot time for my friends and check up on them from time to time to ensure that they’re really okay, or at times I’d just give them a hug for no reason. Sometimes, there’s no need for words to express your support and love for the people you care about.” -AC


“There was a time earlier this year where I just felt so “low” emotionally, mentally and physically. It was a time where I felt so alone despite having all my friends around me. It was my first time feeling that way and I really didn’t know what to do. But then, one day, I decided to open up to my friend about it, not really expecting much from it. But she was able to say all the right things—things that I didn’t even know I needed to hear. She gave me the strength to really try and get better. Sometimes, I would get relapses and the feeling would come back, but I would remember all the friends who care and love for me, which gives me the strength to try and love myself more.” -Anonymous


“Once, one of my lowerbatch friends suddenly burst out in tears during our training, so I did everything I could to make sure that she was okay: I followed her pace and even delayed my workout, to the frustration of my two coaches. I had no idea what suddenly made her hurt so much, but all I knew was that she was hurting. So I pleaded with my coach for us to end the team training a few minutes earlier. I ended up walking with her in silence to the lockers and showers and even fixing up her bath things for her. I gave her advice I now can’t remember and then a long hug when she had to leave. But I think I saw her semi-smile when she entered her car. It got me thinking about how when a bit of someone is taken out, you can’t necessarily fill up the hole where that bit was. You can be there though and soften the edges as they heal themselves, every step of the way, even if it’s only in silence.” -GL


“One day around the later months of 2017, I received a call from one of my best friends while I was having a massage. I was actually on the verge of falling asleep but then I heard her voice—she was crying and trembling and judging from the noise of the car engines, she was outside. She was on a balcony; she was saying goodbye to me. I immediately leapt and started talking really fast, convincing her to stop what she was doing. I wanted her to know that there’s still so much more in life to look forward to, and if that wasn’t a good enough reason, then I wanted her to know that her friends would be devastated. In the end, my best friend went back inside; we were both crying. And the masseuse was still confused.” -Anonymous


“I see love from other people during the times when my friends would sit me down and make me open up to them just so I don’t feel like I’m alone in facing my problems or struggles. We’re all very busy with school and extracurriculars but they take the time to make sure I’m doing well. Sometimes, it would be a simple talk over our breaks, or a chat. Other times, they’d bring me out to my fave restaurants. Whichever one it is, after every heart-to-heart, I always feel a lot better, remembering there are people really willing to listen and hear me out—even if it’s the same problems over and over again.” -Anonymous


“It wouldn’t have been the first thing I thought of doing—helping him out that is. I was already having a hard time as it was. Then again, I realized that with what this classmate of mine has been going through, especially when he wasn’t going to school, this was the kind of love that was needed: someone to watch his back and to be shown that he is cared for. So I thought that I could spare some time with a friend to complete at least part of his graduation write up, and even help him collect his class pictures. He doesn’t owe me, but I hope he sees that someone out there still has him covered.” -YT


“My mom has always been my number one supporter in all my endeavors. Ever since I transferred schools, I’ve been experiencing more stress because of the struggle of handling two extracurriculars and my academic work. I’d even have breakdowns once in a while. I almost gave up. However in all of those times, my mom was always there to support me. She would give me space or a helping hand when I needed it.“ -MM


“One of my long-time friends has been undergoing mental health struggles for a while now, and sometimes it’s surreal thinking of how much she’s gone through since meeting her in grade school. Still, I can’t help but be proud of how far she’s come and how far our friendship has come along with it. I’ve learned after experiencing who she is during her darkest moments that loving her shouldn’t be conditional. I’ve learned to be grateful of how these experiences are helping her grow as a person! I’m sure that I’ll love her even more once she has grown into the person that she’s meant to be.” -AA


“I was really having a hard time managing schoolwork and chores when we didn’t have maids to help us. I started on my schoolwork exhausted and late almost everyday after my extracurriculars. I always had sleepless bad days, and what made it even worse was when people would get mad/blame me for things that I never even did. It was a hard time for me, physically and mentally. I prayed for help, and eventually, I got it. All I needed then was someone to hear me out and just be there for me. I am so thankful that that person was understanding in helping me out. That person changed my perspective towards the challenges that I faced—to see and overcome them with positivity and perseverance, even when trying to overcome them could hurt.” -KC


“I remember the first time someone opened up to me; I had no idea what to do, or what to say. I remember I tried to put myself in the shoes of my friend and sympathize with him, but I found it really hard because I didn’t think that his problems were really such a big deal, and I couldn’t understand why it was a problem to begin with. Over time, I began to learn that the best thing that you can do for your friends when they open up to you is to listen, and instead of trying to put yourself in their shoes, just show them love and care. Try to understand them, but if you can’t that’s okay, because at the end of the day you aren’t their therapist—you’re their friend. I just needed to be there for them, and show them that they matter.” -JDM


Truly, even when Valentine’s Day is over, love abounds in the everyday! So from all of us at Talang Dalisay: We hope you are able to celebrate today in its fullness! And remember that everyone, struggling or not, deserves love—including you! Belated Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

Note To Self | By Sakshi Sahijwani


It’s okay to not be okay. Its okay to be conflicted, and to not know what you truly want. It’s okay to be failing in school, to be gaining weight, to isolate yourself from your friends, and to wish that you can just go away for a bit.

You may be at this crossroad of feeling lost and confused, wondering where it all went wrong. How one day it was so good yet the next was terrible.

How one day you were over the moon, and now you don’t even have the energy to go out anymore. How the people who you would once call your family are the same people that you can’t even recognize anymore. Even if there are all these things going through your head, there’s a small voice telling you to push. Telling you that you can get through it, and that it will all pass. This small voice can be classified or interpreted as many things, but I’d like to think of it as God. I believe that God is watching the series of our lives unfold. That He’s the director of this show we call life.

He’s attached to all the characters on the show just waiting for the next episode, the next cliffhanger. That He’s seeing us in our victories, yet He’s also there for us in our struggles. Even though we try to push him away, He stays. He’s the one thing that truly remains constant in a world that’s vastly changing everyday. He has a plan. Now, we don’t exactly know what plans He has in store for us, but that’s the thrill of it all! We don’t know what we signed up for, but He is setting everything into motion. So for everyone out there, who is feeling lost, He’s got you.

I know it’s hard to keep on believing and trusting someone you can’t visually see, but He’s there. He’s right beside you, guiding you in the walk of life. He wouldn’t take you anywhere he knew you couldn’t handle, so believe in Him, and it will all be okay. Maybe not in a day or two, but eventually, it will pass. You are a work in progress, so trust the process.

Fighting the Burnout Culture | By Raine Rivas

Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 9.29.05 AM

It’s a scenario that’s likely become all too familiar to us– you ask a friend how they are, and they say, “I don’t know. I’m just… tired.” It’s the kind of tired that goes way beyond physical exhaustion, the kind of tired that settles into every aspect of your life. It’s hard to track, and even harder to beat. Luckily, it does have a name: burnout.

Burnout isn’t a completely new concept. The difficulty that comes with trying to switch off the little voice that says “keep working, keep working, keep working” is something that most people usually go through. However, it’s time that we opened up even more extensive dialogue about it, since wearing yourself out to the point of exhaustion could do some serious damage– physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Being in a constant state of tiredness can prevent you from living fully. Also, feeling burnout isn’t sustainable at all. As humans, we all have our breaking points, and the less we hover dangerously close to them, the better.

Perhaps the worst part of burnout is the inner conflict it starts inside you. The ever-so-challenging question of “when do I stop?” can set off an internal argument that just keeps playing on a loop. On one side: “I need to rest. I should rest. Nothing’s working anymore,” and on the other side: “You’re being lazy. Keep pushing. Just work.” Here’s a useful tip– identify the phrase that reveals it all: nothing’s working anymore. The first step to getting over burnout is acknowledging the fact that something’s gone wrong, and that it needs to be fixed before you can carry on with your responsibilities.

Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 9.29.29 AM

A common metaphor that’s been used to describe burnout is that of a vehicle. Whether you’re a student or someone who’s already working, go ahead and liken yourself to a car. In the same way that it’s foolish to ignore smoke coming out of the hood, it’s not right to feel burnt out and just assume that you can keep going and going. I was able to speak to a friend (a fellow high school senior) about their experience with burnout and how it manifests itself in everyday student life.

They mentioned how it can actually feel like “laziness on steroids”, characterized by increased difficulty in doing schoolwork and a general loss of interest. Coming back to the internal argument I mentioned earlier, well– this is what it can look like on the outside. While the fight continues inside your mind, you might find yourself just blankly staring at your laptop screen, or staying in bed, unable to do anything.

Everyone ends up using their own strategies to lessen burnout, but all of these definitely involves taking a step back and doing a major life re-evaluation. This actually isn’t as daunting as it seems– as long as you start the process with an open mind and a clear intent to change things for the better, you’ll find your way to becoming someone who is on fire for the life they live, not burnt out.

In any case, take this as a sign that: it’s time to give yourself a break.

To see a representation of what burnout can feel like (in the form of a cute comic!) visit:

For the Class of 2019: Don’t Get Senioritis – It’s a Block | By Therese Lombos

Senioritis is usually defined as the lax attitude students in their final year of high school take on. While it has been something I’ve anticipated for my whole academic life, I’ve come to the realization that it may be hindering me from making the most of the only year in high school I’ve got left. My whole high school career has led up to taking the college entrance exams, and now that they’ve passed, I’ve been granted the opportunity to enjoy what school has left to offer. Sadly, my constant anticipation for the future, coupled with my senioritis, has transformed my outlook into one of dread rather than excitement.

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 9.02.58 AM

Right from the get-go, I intended to cast my senior year aside. “Lose a battle, win the war.” The battle being my academics and the war being CET’s. While I don’t think it was necessarily a bad decision given that you can only take an entrance exam once, it was when I began overcompensating myself for the struggle of maintaining my grades. My scores dipped, and I tried my best to ignore my instinctual panic and urge to make up for it. I turned off the switch it my brain that made me care about school and shifted my focus towards the future.

This wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if it remained temporary. However, by the time CET’s were over, I felt as though it would be too difficult to bring up my grades, and just gave up little by little. I hated going to school, and I constantly ranted about how I hated wasting time. Classes seemed irrelevant, and I just went through the motions. I was slightly losing my mind— I was so bored and I couldn’t find anything I deemed worthy enough to stimulate my brain.

It was only when results came out that I came to the realization that this was my last year, and I was taking it for granted. My friends are headed in different directions, and I won’t be able to go back to the present moment. I had a High School Musical moment— high school wasn’t meant to last forever.

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 9.05.43 AM

In light of this, I’ve come up with a new definition for senioritis. Senioritis (n) – a hindrance to the optimization of a senior’s final year of high school; an attitude that prevents one from treasuring their day-to-day lives as high school students. I’ve decided to make my final report card the prettiest one, not because of my grades, but because of the lessons I’ve learned throughout my whole high school journey.

It’s 2019! Talang Dalisay’s 2018 Highlight Reel | By Margaret Lee

Happy happy new year! 2018 is finally over and it has definitely been a very great year for us at Talang Dalisay.

screen shot 2019-01-07 at 3.25.10 pm

Last year, we were able to get over 10+ partnerships with other non-profits, receive responses from over 200+ potential student ambassadors, and receive donations of over 30,000 pesos.

Aside from all those numbers, we were also able to open up new programs for people to take part in. New volunteer researchers for wave 2 emerged, as well as our new program for volunteer artists showcasing very critical mental health issues in a creative manner.

screen shot 2019-01-07 at 3.26.24 pm

We would also like to thank our old and new partnerships the UP Diliman PsychSoc, PAREF Woodrose School, and the Southeville International School for their never-ending support and invitations to us for helping spread more mental health awareness.


So what’s there to look forward to in 2019?

Well, the release of our official shirts will be out this January! All proceeds will go to our special needs scholar. If you would like to order, please visit our merchandise page. Keep your eyes peeled as well for our student ambassadors’ official shoot photos and videos, as they will be modeling our shirts. How exciting!

More than this, we will be faithfully following schedule for our monthly outreaches with our partner schools and communities. To stay up to date with that, please visit our Facebook page.

Lastly, we have a very exciting collaboration with DevSoc (formerly known as Developer’s Society) that is coming up very soon! We can’t wait for you to know all about it.

From the whole team and I, we wish you a very prosperous 2019! I personally had an extremely difficult 2018 so far. I encountered so many hurdles in and out of school. It’s very easy to get swayed and disheartened. But never let your current situation bring you down. Always stay vigilantly positive even at your lowest points. Like my teacher once told me, never quit just because it’s hard. True character is forged in fire. 

Again, thank you so much for your continuous support for Talang Dalisay and what this organization stands for. I am very excited to see it grow more in the future. We would not be anywhere without YOU. Thank you.

Love and light always, 

Margaret Lee

Founder & Executive

365 New Days, 365 New Chances | By Dani Antonio

A new year is a new beginning. It is as if our lives are a series of books; each with 12 chapters and 365 pages. Each page is our chance. Our chance to change, to learn, and to grow.

Every year, we make new year’s resolutions. Most choose to make simple resolutions like smiling more, doing a kind act each day, or throwing trash properly. However, this new year, you could choose to make a resolution, which will not only benefit you but also those around you.

Mental health has become one of the fastest rising problems in our world today. Attitudes such as self-care, self-love, and self-confidence have been lacking in most individuals, but this new year could mean a new you.

Here are 5 new year’s resolutions you could do this 2019:


  • Make a Motivation Jar

Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 9.11.16 AM

A motivation jar is something simple that can easily brighten up your day. All you need is a mason jar, post-its, and a pen. On the pieces of paper, you can write words of affirmation, motivational quotes, bible verses, etc. Once you’ve written on the post-its, fill the jar with them, and open one up if you’re ever feeling down.


  • Start your #HealthyLiving


Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 9.11.22 AM
Healthy living doesn’t necessarily mean going on a strict diet or exercising every day rather, it is a change of lifestyle. You could start by adding fruits and vegetables to your daily meals and including exercise in your weekly routines. These future habits may seem like an impossible task, but by the time you know it, you’ll be feeling better both on the inside and outside.


  • Schedule a Self-care Day


Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 9.11.28 AM

With busy schedules and prior commitments, individuals usually lack time for themselves. This new year, you could allocate a day every month just for yourself. You could schedule a massage, you could bake, or you could simply sleep. Do anything that will make YOU feel happy.


  • Daily Moments of  Mindfulness + Mindfulness Jar

Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 9.11.35 AM

Stress and anxiety are definitely two factors of our lives that may hinder us from taking care of ourselves. By doing daily moments of mindfulness, this year, you will be able to learn how to take a breather. In addition to doing moments of mindfulness, you can make your own mindfulness jar, which is known to help people relax and calm down.

*To make a mindfulness jar mix together liquid glue, hot water, and glitter. Shake the jar and watch the glitter go down.*


  • Lessen your Screen Time

Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 9.11.41 AM

The use of technology has become even more prevalent in the present day, and most of us have forgotten how toxic the use of technology can be. By lessening your screen time, you will have the ability to disconnect to reconnect.

With these new year’s resolutions, this new year, you may truly be a “new me”!

“The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.” – Diane Von Furstenberg

A Snapshot Of Anxiety Disorders | By Karmella Tapia

“It feels like I’m drowning. Like I’m slowly being strangled and I wanna scream, but I’m in a bubble, and no sound is coming out. You lose feeling in your body for a while, becoming numb so much that you can’t hold your own weight. It feels like the world won’t stop spinning–like it will never stop. This is your new norm, and you have to get used to it.” (Description of a panic attack taken from an interview)

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 12.42.06 PM

On a worldwide scale, statistics say roughly one out of four people will experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. With such a large percent of the population affected, it’s only natural that the subject of anxiety tends to come up in discussions of mental health. But for the rest of the population without anxiety, chances are the particulars of anxiety are rather murky.

Everyone experiences anxiety occasionally. Fear and apprehension because of an impending crisis or stressful situation are all part of the natural fight-or-flight response humans have developed to survive. It is an entirely different situation, however, when these episodes of anxiety repeatedly interfere with one’s normal activities and occur intensely out-of-proportion to the real danger. Such is the struggle of those with anxiety disorders. Beyond the severe and prolonged feelings of fear, anxiety disorders can involve symptoms like panic, trembling, hyperventilation, gastrointestinal problems, increased heart rate, trouble sleeping, and difficulty concentrating. Whether the disorder comes from medical causes, environmental stressors, family genetics, or past trauma, anxiety as a mental illness is a very real obstacle faced by millions of people—including those in our own social circles.

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 12.41.53 PM

A big part of what we do here at Talang Dalisay is try to build an environment where honest, safe discussion on mental health and illness can happen regularly—where understanding the experiences of people similar or different to ourselves becomes easier, and we are able to say with sincerity, “You are not alone.” In an effort to bring to light the real stories of people who have or have had an anxiety disorder, here are a few experiences and insights from a few sources (who will remain anonymous for privacy reasons) with first-hand knowledge on the subject:

When did you first realize that your anxiety was beyond the normal?

Source 1: It was more of a process than a moment. Grade 7 was the first time I started worrying about myself. I remember feeling something stopping me from talking to people who I felt were more popular or who would judge me. But then, I remember being able to act confident for this one social event, so I told myself, okay, you’re fine. Then the next year, I had a super hard time socializing with older people for school things, but I kind of just dismissed it as me being really shy. The thing is, I knew other people who were shy—this didn’t feel like the same thing. I was never shy as a child, so having difficulty in social situations seemed to come out of nowhere. I’m usually really loud, and I have no problem performing in class. The inconsistent shyness was starting to alarm me enough. Eventually, through Tumblr and research, I learned about social anxiety; my mindset then was like: look at it, read, don’t self diagnose, and try to confirm that it’s not you. So I did. But afterwards, the question was still there. By the start of 2017, I asked my dad what he knew about social anxiety. Ten months later, I decided to get help.

What do you struggle with the most regarding your anxiety?

Source 1: I think the worst part is when I get stuck in a bad chain of thoughts. What will happen is, if it gets really bad, all my thoughts will contradict each other. As in, I’ll have bad thoughts, and then I’ll try to fight them and prove them wrong—but then the bad thoughts kind of just assert themselves more. There will suddenly be a new argument for why I’ll fail or why whatever bad thing might happen will come true. Whenever I feel bad, all I want is a break to just rest, but I know the rest of the world won’t wait for me to stop feeling anxious. Then, I start worrying about the fact that I’m worrying. I guess it’s like a virus that spreads beyond what I’m actually immediately having a problem with. To me, it ends up feeling like my anxiety bleeds into other things.

Was it hard to ask for help?

Source 2: Definitely. I didn’t really know what I was asking help for! It was something I couldn’t describe yet, so I struggled to relay it to other people. Mostly, I would just keep to myself until I found a way to describe it which took quite a long time. I ended up approaching mostly my barkada in school first—not all of them though, just a select few. Even then, it took me more than a year to be transparent with them. It helped a lot though because then I had someone to run to when I would have panic attacks in school. I didn’t have to deal with it alone anymore. I guess what made it so hard to reach out was that fear that they might misunderstand me, that people would think I was just looking for attention or making stuff up.

How important is a support system for you? How has your support system helped you?

Source 3: My friends were very important in the sort of release I needed, especially on bad days—a sort of exercise for my brain. In addition to giving me the the opportunity to freely express my thoughts, they also asked me questions that led to a deeper understanding of what I was really feeling. Honestly, sometimes, what I needed was more than a group of people who listen. Being listened to is super valuable, of course, but at times, what I really needed was friends who would “call me out”. Dealing with my anxiety, sometimes I would get a little off track  with my life—caught up in my worries. In a really loving and thoughtful way, they would bring me back to reality. Without my support system, I really think that I would have, in a sense, shut myself off from the rest of the world. I was tired of being afraid of daily life, of both the present and the future. It was starting to take a toll on my other relationships. Of course, I was worried that I would be a burden to them or that talking to them about my own struggle would affect them too much. But they reassured me that they would always be there to help me through my anxiety.

What’s the one thing you wish you could tell other people with anxiety?

Source 3: If you feel like your anxiety is weighing you down, don’t be afraid to reach out to other people and steady yourself. Draw your strength from the good things and the good people in your life. The most important thing to know is that you’ll never be alone. I myself am still in the process of opening myself up to sharing, even on those days when I feel like I’m about to be swallowed whole by the ground or “insert other doomsday scenario”. We can do this, you guys. Think of it this way… anxiety isn’t some dragon you have to kill just to prove that you’re okay. It’s actually just one you have to become the master of.

What’s the one thing you wish you could tell people who don’t have anxiety but want to understand it?

Source 2: When someone with anxiety tells you about their state of mind, please don’t shut them down right away. Please know it probably took them months to come clean to you. Just try your best to understand and be present for them.


For more information on anxiety disorders, visit