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)

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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.

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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 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

Building Yourself Back Up After a Mental Breakdown | By Dani Antonio

Everyday, life throws challenges at us when we least expect it. It’s as if everyday, we’re riding an endless rollercoaster ride with all its abrupt loops, twists, and turns. Undoubtedly, our daily hurdles and impediments can result to a spectrum of emotions. As a 21st century high school student, I can definitely vouch for this. With the tsunami of workload given to us, mental breakdowns are very common within our generation. I can’t count the amount of times when my batch mates and I have cried (with hagulgol) due to all our academic stress, pressures, and frustrations, but with this, we must remember that after experiencing a breakdown, we must learn to build ourselves back up again.                                

Building yourself back up after a mental breakdown is not easy. It takes great perseverance and determination for one to bounce back after experiencing a rough patch in his or her life. From taking a nap to running a marathon, you could create your own rainbow after the rain.

Here is a “break down” of seven strategies you can use to build yourself back up after experiencing a mental breakdown:

1. Meditate

Meditation is a long-standing technique carried out by people all around the world to calm one’s nerves, find balance within one’s emotions, and attain one’s center and focus. In relation to mental breakdowns, meditation may be a sufficient and effective strategy for you to get back on track from any obstacles you may have faced.

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2. Do Something You Love to Do

Another way to move forward from any adversity is to do something you love to do. Everyone is different – we all have different passions, hobbies, and talents. Discover what you love to do, then use it as an outlet to release any stress or worries that you may have.

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3. Eat

One of the most common causes of mental breakdowns is fatigue and stress, meaning: you’re tired. Eating can definitely help you get back on track after a breakdown, as food gives you energy and can make you happy, but you must remember that stress-eating and over-eating can be damaging to your health.

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4. Allocate Time for Yourself

“Me Time” is very important for one’s self-care routine. After a mental breakdown, allocating time for yourself is one great way to reflect on what has happened and what needs to be done. In addition, you also have the opportunity to calm yourself down and relax your mind.

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5. Disconnect to Reconnect

With social media taking up most of our time, we forget that there is a world outside of our phones. After a breakdown, one simple action you can do is unplug from social media. Though social media can be a good platform for empowerment, this can also have great impacts on your mental health, with all of the set standards and expectations. Sometimes, you need to take a breather from your gadgets to take care of yourself.

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6. Exercise

Although most people don’t enjoy exercising, studies have revealed that this activity does not only positively affect one’s physical health, but also one’s mental health. When you exercise, your body releases hormones called endorphins. Endorphins trigger feelings of positivity throughout your body, which may help you renew and refresh yourself after a breakdown..

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7. Sleep

Sleep is definitely something we all need, but with all our commitments and activities, most of us don’t get any of it. As impossible as it may seem, you need to TRY to get at least eight hours of sleep. After having a breakdown, sleep will really help with your attentiveness, alertness, and your mental health overall.

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“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again”

– Buddha –

An Attitude of Gratitude | By Maureen Cambay

With so much negativity from all that we’re reading from across the internet, I decided to start the month with making a list of the things that I’m thankful about. Although it seems not fit for the occasion of the month (Halloween), I thought that I could start sharing my “gratitude list” as one to combat my feelings of sadness.

A gratitude list does not require deep thinking. You can start by looking at the simple things that you encounter during the day or the past few weeks. Just pause for a while and bring with you a pen and a paper and write your thoughts down. It can also be done on a notes app or for instance, I used the Textgram app on Google Playstore. Here is a sample:

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Before writing the list, I thought that nothing good was ever happening to me, I focused on the things I cannot do anymore and even compared my life to other people. 

I thought this is not a healthy habit and after a few days of pondering, I believed that there is a way to change. I also remembered this video of Kylie Verzosa in finding pleasure in simple things to deal with feelings of sadness. You might as well find this video helpful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM6NmT9KH20

May we not forget the simple treasures in life and most importantly, the greatest gift of God which is life. 🍃🌻

Thank you, supermom! | by Margaret Lee

How would you describe a supermom? For some it may mean being able to have perfect time management with household chores and work. For others it may mean being able to bake the best pastries and cook the most delicious food for everyday meals. For me however, being a supermom means making the most out of what one has and being able to prioritize and love her children wholeheartedly above anything else.

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My entrepreneurship and business research teacher, Ms. Melissa Do, is a great example of what it means to be a supermom.

Ms. Melissa Do is a teacher, businesswoman, and mother of three. She continuously juggles teaching high school students, handling her businesses, and taking care of her children every single day. However, it’s even more of a challenge for her since her youngest daughter and son are both diagnosed with autism and is a single mom. How does she do it? She shares with us her journey and valuable insights below.

When did you find out that your two kids had autism? What was your initial reaction?

I have a daughter who is 8 and a son who is 9 years old. After I had my daughter in 2009, I had my son the year after. My daughter was delayed for 3 years and 6 months and was diagnosed with GDD. A year later, I consulted a different doctor and confirmed that she had autism. My son is more functional and was also diagnosed. When I found out they had autism, I was initially in denial. It was hard for me to accept. They looked so normal, and I couldn’t believe it so I talked to doctors and they told me the same thing. I thought they were just late bloomers and I didn’t want to accept the reality. However, I just tried to rationalize my situation and just make sense out of it. I would educate myself to learn more about people within the autism spectrum by reading more about them.

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Did you encounter any signs prior to this that made you think that your children were different?

There were many signs that made me think that my children were different. When my daughter was in her developmental stage, she wasn’t able to do certain things her peers could do. She doesn’t sleep so well at night. I thought it was because of her excema at first since she had rashes all the time. But what really kept her up was her nature and inability to keep still. She also doesn’t really listen when you call her name and is very restless in general. My son is similar to my daughter, although he did more things. When you call him, he doesn’t look back and took him awhile until he was more aware of his name.

How were they when they were younger? What are their hobbies? Are they more into sports, arts, etc.?

My girl is into arts. She likes cooking, playing with animal toys (especially girraffes), and making crowns (the ones for princesses). She has a really wide imagination and enjoys pretend play. Sometimes she would even put makeup on our yaya! She is also more social with others. My boy on the other hand is really into musical games. He’s into patterns. He is very good at those iPad piano games and plays the drums whenever he goes to Timezone. He has great hand-eye coordination and is really fast. My boy usually plays by himself. Both my kids are into totally different things and they each have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Since they’re both so different, the don’t play together that much. They have OT, speech, and special school; teachers and counsellors deal with them differently.

How do you balance taking care of your children, teaching high school students, and handling a business at the same time?

It’s honestly really hard to balance. My kids need to go to school so I can work. Aside from teaching, I also need to handle my business well. Before, my husband used to oversee it. Since his passing, it got a whole lot harder. I get lots of help from the nannies since they help with alot of the household chores. As soon as I get home from work, I spend time with all my children most especially on the weekends. I try my best to avoid them from using gadgets and have quality time with them. So far, it’s been okay. I haven’t really reached my limits but it’s still difficult. I’m still firguring things out; it’s a continuous process for me. When my husband was alive it was like a well oiled machine. Now, there’s an imbalance with the time that I spend. I have to adjust the time I spend on a certain thing. I have to respond fast to situations or else things change. I also have to adapt to my kids. They also change throughout time. They grow up and each have different problems.

Did you encounter people who were apathetic to your children’s behavior? How did you feel?

Yes! People were apathetic. I would sometimes think to myself, how heartless can they be? They try to impose rules on people like my kids like they have the authority to do so. They don’t understand my situation and people within the spectrum. I personally felt upset and embarrassed. Throughout time, you just learn and you dont think about those people; my kids are more important. I’ve come to that point wherein I don’t care what people think anymore; if people stare they aren’t educated enough. They should know and be aware of kids with special needs. People have to get used to them because that’s reality.
How can people understand people with autism better? What do you think the youth and adults can do to create an understanding environment to people within the spectrum?

There should be more movements that promote awareness. I personally think it should start with companies.

Last December in 2016 my son wanted to order McDonald’s since it was one of his favorite foods. It was the 31st; it was New Year’s Eve and McDo closed earlier. My son along with his nanny got there at 8 pm and discovered McDo was closed. They asked if they could order just a box of fries. However, they dont want to open anymore. If there’s anything one needs to know about kids with autism is that they are OC; he wanted to get fries specifically from McDonald’s. My son pleaded and cried on the floor in front of the store. He tried pushing himself to enter and even the yaya and tried going in. My yaya just asked for a box and explained my son’s condition and they wouldnt give it. No one was there to help her. No one around cared at all.

I drove fast from Ddsa and picked him up and went to another McDonald’s branch in Greenbelt. Luckily, they gave me a box there. This whole situation made me sad since McDo is such a big corporation and they aren’t aware of people with special needs and the fact that they offer PWD discounts is just ironic.

I hope that awareness and more understanding doesn’t only stem from corporations but also to different individuals. I hope one day people learn how to incorporate them in society to learn how to act and behave towards people within the spectrum.

If establishments knew how to handle these people, it would be so much easier for moms and families like me who have kids or relatives with autism since we get to handle in public easier. I tried emailing organizations in the past and but there was no action at all. There was no follow up or reply whatsoever. In all honesty, half measures and discounts for PWD’s don’t help. There should be full awareness and understanding from society. For me, that’s what really matters.

After interviewing my teacher, I was really left in awe. All this time I had no idea what she had been going through. I was really enlightened and touched by her story. I hope this inspires you to keep going no matter what kind of hardship life throws at you. And never forget that your own mom is always there for you no matter what.

Here’s to all moms all around the world! You all are super amazing in every way.

Thank you, supermom!

A Crash Course on Cognitive Distortions | by Raine Rivas

WHAT’S A COGNITIVE DISTORTION?

There’s a certain level of trust that we give to our brains. They dictate what goes on in our bodies, handle memories and feelings, and even provide those “gut instincts” by combining logic and emotion to help us make decisions. Over time, the brain has been wired to make us recognize warning signs or dangerous things in the world around us– or, in other words, single out what seems sketchy. What helped cavemen hunt down animals and adapt to the forces of nature ages ago continues to help all of us today in the everyday choices we make.

However, at times, we find that the first thing that pops into our heads or our immediate reaction to a situation is not the most reasonable one. We tend to jump to statements that seem ridiculous totally illogical when we take the time to look back at them. This isn’t a reason for us to blame our brains, though, since they’re used to drawing connections between events, ideas, and consequences– whether they are truly connected or not. In a sense, making these mistakes and falling into these misguided thought patterns are inevitable for us. Recognizing them is the first step, though. Let’s take a closer look at cognitive distortions, how they can negatively affect our lives, and what they can look or sound like.

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The name is self-explanatory– cognitive distortions are nothing more than errors in our cognition. Their defining trait is that they are rooted in irrationality and our biased perspective on things as individuals. The tricky thing about them is that they are already so deeply embedded in how we always tackle situations, and it can be very difficult to find them in the things you think of and tell others (or yourself) every day. “Oh,” you say. “That’s just the way stuff is. I just… think like that. Is it bad for me?”

In a while, we’ll go through a list of some common cognitive distortions and their examples. But first, to answer the question of “… Is it bad?”, these distortions tend to have harmful psychological effects on people. Cognitive distortions are commonly used to reinforce negative thoughts in a way that sounds logical, at first, but in reality, are truly misguided. They’ve even been found to have a positive correlation with symptoms of depression, meaning that they also have the capacity to make existing mental issues even worse (Burns, Shaw, & Croker, 1987). It’s important to note that a lot of what we know today regarding cognitive distortions is thanks to two renowned psychiatrists, Dr. Aaron Beck and Dr. David Burns. For years, they’ve researched on matters related to cognition and depression, as well as behavioral therapy. The list of 7 common distortions we’re about to go over is from Burns’ 1989 publication, Feeling Good Handbook.

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Here we go! Read carefully and see what applies to you.

SEVEN COMMON COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS

1. Magnification and Minimization
These two involve an extremely skewed perspective on things. Magnification is also known as catastrophizing, or blowing up a small matter and seeing it as practically the end of the world. Oppositely, minimization devalues and invalidates things are actually positive or important.
EXAMPLE: “I missed the 11:59 deadline for my paper. Noooooo, I’m such a terrible student. This is it. I’m gonna fail this sem na talaga.” // “This award? I don’t know, man. It’s just for varsity. I’m still just an athlete at the end of the day, and I suck at everything else.”

2. Overgeneralization
This happens when your brain takes one event and uses it as an example for something, leading you to believe that it’s part of a bigger pattern that applies overall. This can lead you down that slippery slope of thinking negatively about yourself, so be careful!
EXAMPLE: “My classmate snapped at me today. Ugh, I bet she hates me.”

3. Personalization
Do you ever feel like you’re responsible for the bad stuff that happens? Or that everyone seems to be smarter, better-looking, and nicer than you? That’s personalization in a nutshell. It’s good to remember that sometimes, there are some situations you just aren’t involved in at all.
EXAMPLE: “I hate this. My dad is in such a bad mood. If I had pushed my ate to get ready faster this morning, maybe he wouldn’t be so BV now.”

4. Mislabeling
Mislabeling happens when overgeneralization goes too far. Simply put, based on one experience, we immediately slap a label onto a person or situation. You can spot this distortion fairly easily– just be on the lookout for judgments that sound really emotionally loaded.
EXAMPLE: “He is such an attention-seeker. I only met him today, but I so get that vibe.”

5. “Should” Statements
These involve an overload of “should”, “must”, and “have to”. A lot of unrealistic expectations can stem from this way of thinking, which lead to disappointment when we don’t get or achieve the things that we want. There’s also a possibility that we project and impose these on other people.
EXAMPLE: “I should be able give advice to my friends all the time. They need me. I really have to.”

6. Fortune Telling
This distortion speaks for itself. Sadly, time machines haven’t been invented (yet), so we have to do our best to live in the present and avoid making negative predictions about things. It’s really hard to tell what the future holds for us, so don’t be in a hurry to figure it out!
EXAMPLE: “Dude. I am so, so single. Wala na, finish na, I’m never gonna find anyone ever.”

7. Mind Reading
Like fortune telling, mind reading also involves jumping to conclusions. Telepathy isn’t a thing (yet), so don’t be so quick to assume that other people are feeling a certain way just because they seem like it. Use this as a signal that you could try opening a clearer way of communicating with these people.
EXAMPLE: “She’s so angry right now. She thinks I’m a terrible person. She hasn’t spoken to me all day.”

It can be kind of scary to think that some of these distortions can sneak into our lives without us knowing. Personally, when I read about catastrophizing and mind reading, I actually got a little bit stressed from going “OMG, wait, that’s so me– nooooo.” I’m very grateful that I found out about them, though. Now, whenever I feel myself starting to make a giant issue out of minor setback, I can catch myself and start to correct it by replacing these with more positive and reasonable statements. Keep in mind that we’re all capable of forming answers to them whenever they pop up, and gently reminding ourselves– “hey, relax. Look at what’s happening with a clearer mind.”

How about you? Which cognitive distortions are all-too familiar to you? And how can you concretely begin your attempts to change these thought patterns for the better?

For information on even more cognitive distortions, visit https://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-cognitive-distortions/

“Veni, Vidi, Amavi”: A Compilation of Works | by Talented & Powerful Teenage Writers

Veni, Vidi, Amavi; We came, we saw, we loved. 

Conflict, adversity, challenges, or shortcomings of any sort have a profound effect on who we are. Whether it’s tangible or intangible, external or internal, we are in full control of how we steer and direct ourselves to the respective paths we wish to take. These works reflect what it really means to illuminate the essence of every situation, and to bring out the best in ourselves and others through sheer wit and sagacity.

Reading these works have personally struck me on a large scale and have opened up so many doors in the way I perceive and take life from a day to day basis. Words really do work wonders, and I hope it does the same for you.

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Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh


 

“Random Thoughts” by Lora Sanchez 

And suddenly you’re at the top of your game. Everyone has their eyes on you, everyone is looking up to you and saying how you inspired them. Everything seems like it has reached it’s peak.

However, you’re not. Your heart continuously races and you’re constantly fidgeting. It’s difficult to breathe and you’re always trying to find a way out. You could be in a room full of hundreds of people yet you still feel alone.

People only ever see you after you’ve gone through hell and back. People don’t understand the hard work you put in to get to where you are—to get to that point in your life where you have a picture-perfect smile everywhere you go.

People don’t see how broken you become, how painful it is to continue living the life you chose. In the end, it’s either you allow the anxieties that come with being you to control your life or to get up and fight for everything you’ve worked for; after all, it’s your life and you should be the one to make your own choices.

“This is Why” by Kara Santiago

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“Different” by Samantha Maceda 

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“2.537 Million Lightyears Away” by Cecilia Castro 

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“Shattered but Fixed” by Beatriz Adrienda 

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“Ang Mga Anak Ni Tatay” by Yanina Tajonera

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“For Those Who Run Away From The Movement” by Crescia Lactao 

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“It’s Not The Working, It’s The Rising” by Pia Cruz

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Creative Outlets in Dealing with Stress | By Maureen Cambay

We all have different kinds of stresses in life, it may be school, work, relationships and many more. When the going gets tough, it may be harder for us to cope, that’s why we should find ways to have creative outlets to take a break from all the things we’ve been doing.

It was just recently that I forgot my love for dancing. I used to dance when I was younger but due to school and my adjustment to adulthood, I told myself that I’d leave dancing for good. But I thought of a better idea, why not do both? Why not revive my passion for dancing and at the same time, do my usual activities?

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Reviving my passion does not mean a complete major change in lifestyle. It actually included baby steps. First, I watched Youtube vloggers especially Ranz and Niana enjoying their love for dancing. I realized that I could also dance in my free time! Simple aerobic exercise videos would do. Second, I listened to songs that I could dance to. It’s kind of funny because the hit, “Despacito” actually made my heart beat! And I also watched this video of my favorite hiphop sensation, Chachi Gonzales dance to “In My Feelings” by Drake. It just kept me diverted for a while.

After all, dancing has always been known to be beneficial to health. According to Alpert (2010) on a journal entitled “The Health Benefits of Dance”, it could increase flexibility, balance and spatial awareness and a general feeling of well-being. Not only that, as Dr. Lovatt mentioned in telegraph.co.uk, “You appear to get a much bigger release of endorphins when you dance than during other forms of exercise; he added , “Dancing prompts an emotional release – often that’s uncomplicated happiness, while for some it can make them cry. It’s cathartic – a letting go of pent-up emotions.” 

My creative outlet is dancing, can you share what’s yours? What makes your heart excited? It could be your own unique way to deal with stress. 

Self-Care vs. Selfishness: Why It’s Okay to Say No | By Dani Antonio

They say that when you do things for yourself or when you put your needs before others then you’re a selfish person. Even when you’ve given everything you have to those around you, you still question the thought of doing something nice for yourself because you’re afraid that it will send the message that you only think of yourself.

But why is that? Is saying no to others selfish? Is self-care selfish?

Taking care of yourself doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t care about others. Think about it, if you don’t take care of yourself or love yourself first, how can you possibly take care and love others? Sometimes, you need to take time for yourself. You need to breathe, pause, and listen, so that you can be physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy.

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Here are some self-care techniques you can do when you’re feeling “selfish”:

1. Recognize that it is okay to not be okay

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Have you ever been asked the questions, Are you okay? or How are you feeling?, and you replied with I’m fine., but in reality…you weren’t. This is where the first technique comes in – self-care is acknowledging when you’re not okay.

This will not only help you open yourself up to others, and be more transparent, but this will also help you refocus on what is needed to help you get better.

2. Discover what self-care actions or activities make you feel better

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We are all unique. You’re way to destress may be different from you’re best friend’s way to destress, so it’s good to ask the question, “What self-care action works for me?”.

Here are some common actions people do to practice self-care: take a yoga class, meditate, bake, dance out your feelings, pray, or listen to music.

3. Unplug from social media

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With social media taking up most of our time, days, and lives, we forget that there is a world outside of our phones. To practice self-care, one simple action you can do is to “disconnect to reconnect”. Sometimes, you need to pause and take a breather from social media to take care of yourself. Social media can be a good platform for empowerment, but this can also have great impacts on your mental health, with all of the set standards and expectations.

4. Sleep

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Sleep is definitely something we all know and love, but somehow, most of us still don’t get enough of it. Most of the time, we are drowned with school work, meetings, or appointments, that we forget to rest our bodies and minds, so that we may re-energize ourselves for the next day.

As impossible as it may seem, you need to TRY to get at least 8 hours of sleep. This will really help with your attentiveness, alertness, and your mental health overall.

5. Say no once in a while

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Saying no is definitely not an easy thing to do. Millions of things could go through your mind before replying with this two letter – one syllable word, but saying no could be the biggest leap to self-care you could ever make.

Saying no is being able to stand up for yourself. It’s an act of courage, honesty, and respect. You are courageous enough to be true to yoursef, honest enough to be transparent and open to what you truly feel, and respectful enough to take care of yourself and those around you.

“The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.”

– Diane Von Furstenberg –

The Autism Research Initiative: Service Through Learning | By Nicole Profeta

In line with Talang Dalisay’s mission of raising awareness on mental health, the organization has moved towards the field of academic research in the hopes of gathering and spreading more accurate information. The newly-formed research groups aim to conduct studies and collect more accurate data on MH issues which may be used to educate and inform the general public.

The first research group was formed earlier this month and was tasked to conduct studies and research initiatives on Autism in the Philippines. The members comprising the research group come from different universities and affiliations, and are all avid mental health advocates. We were able to interview some members on their views on mental health.

What prompted you to sign up to be a researcher for Talang Dalisay?

Bernard Eseo:
I have always been passionate for the ASD community. My brother who has autism inspires me to write and research more about ASD, particularly in the Philippines . An opportunity like this must not be taken for granted. I feel that there is a need to further research about mental health and ASD in the Philippines because the reach and engagement with the common public and certain mental health societies do not necessarily meet. The more knowledge there is, the more we are equipped to providing our services and research to the people who need them.

Vianca Anglo:
As a part of globalising world and as culture and technological evolutions are being made our social stances and responsibility with each other should also evolve and be more equipped in facing the different issues faced in society. In taking part of these conversations and events that would prompt a more stable and inclusive environment, we as a nation build a more united and safer future for every Filipino of today and tomorrow.

Donnabelle Mallari:

I don’t want others feel that they are alone in their fights so I would like to help people with mental disability through research. Morever, knowing that mental health disorders will affect almost everyone, I would like to help atleast to lessen this among people.

Nicole Timbol Garcia:

I found a new hobby last year and that’s doing research. Also, lately, my big brother (often misunderstood) is thought to be an autistic person by a mental health expert. With that, I would like to know more of these things.

Why do you consider yourself a mental health advocate?

Bernard Eseo:
I have witnessed mental health since my brother was born and I took it into heart that it is both a beautiful and amazing thing. More people should be aware of the current situation of our local communities with mental health issues.

Vianca Anglo:
In being a mental health advocate means being aware and more sensitive on topics that are of concern to our citizens. In being a mental health advocate means that every aspect of biological, mental, and psychological are addressed and treated. There should be an equitable attention given to mental health as there is to physical health.

Donnabelle Mallari:

Honestly, if an advocate is one who educates others about mental health, conducts seminars and workshops about mental health, then, I am not considered as an advocate, but I would like to be one if given the opportunity. Sometimes, I let others and myself be aware of the mental health through social media by sharing posts about it. Also, I do my best (even if not enough) to live what I want others to know as well.

Nicole Timbol Garcia:

As of the moment, I can’t consider myself an advocate yet. I am still in the process of widening my knowledge and honing my skills to be prepped of being just that -an advocate of mental health.
Why is mental health important?
Bernard Eseo: The mind is extraordinary – molded by various factors and genuine genial inheritance – that there are so many possibilities and outcomes yet they all serve one purpose. Mental health is important because it can happen to our loved ones, and special people in our lives and people around the world. The goal is not everyone to be normal but rather to accept that there are changes in our society when it comes to different kinds of mental ailments. The importance of mental health arises due to the ever-growing discoveries and knowledge.
Vianca Anglo:
Promoting a healthy mind will lead to a healthy lifestyle and vice versa. In strengthening our people, both physically and mentally, we can strengthen our nation, and vice versa. Implementation of laws and accessibility to mental health services and medications should be a basic right that each of us should receive.

Donnabelle Mallari:

It affects the way people think, feel and act. It is the foundation of people’s emotions, actions and reactions. If mental health is neglected, people tend to misbehave in the society. It is also a reason for the different behaviors that we could see to people. If mental health is neglected, the physical, social, emotional and intellectual aspects of the person will also be sacrificed. If people are given help in this, productivity, contribution and cooperation are expected to happen.

Nicole Timbol Garcia:

All action comes from the brain.

Besides volunteering for organizations like Talang Dalisay, what else do you do to make sure the mental health advocacy stays relevant in Philippine society?

Bernard Eseo:
I take time to understand the friends and people who are going through such. I am not necessarily part of a formal institution but I take my time to lend a helping hand and ear to those who need company the most.

Vianca Anglo:
[By] promoting Positive Psych in Psych conventions -taking part in debates about mental health care – joining and volunteering in support groups and counseling services.

Donnabelle Mallari:

Actually, it is my first time to be part of mental health organization and I am not really doing things which will greatly contribute to the Philippine society. However, if little things are counted, then maybe I am doing something. I share my experiences in social media or small group discussion such as the one we have in church. I encourage others through social media by sharing posts which are relevant to this or through talking to those people who needs help. I accept a position in our support team (to help those students who feel stressed in their studies). If possible, I help others believe that everything is fine by giving them pieces of advice.

Nicole Timbol Garcia:

None as of the moment, however, I am looking for opportunities to spread it’s importance to the society.


The first group’s research paper is currently ongoing and will hopefully be published at the end of the year. We hope to get more out of autism awareness here in the Philippines, to help enhance the empathetic community we envision for them. 

To know more about our program, please email us at talangdalisay@gmail.com.

Approved Automatic PhilHealth Coverage for PWDs: A Genuine Touch of Love | By Jochelle Campo

It was last July 30, 2018, when the Senate accepted the Senate Bill No. 1391, which
amended Republic Act No. 7277 or the “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons” for providing the mandatory Philippine Health Insurance Corp or PhilHealth coverage to persons with disabilities (PWDs) that guarantees.

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It was not long ago when the PWDs were pushing for this as the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) also stated that outpatient services should also be given to them since they are the ones who badly need it. Social protection in the Philippines is lacking according to a study made by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and from this
stance, it can be concluded that if statistics say this, then its worse for PWDs who are suffering every day physically and emotionally. Coping up with life day by day from a PWDs perspective is a desire for inclusivity that people would understand their needs and cater to their vulnerabilities. The ratified PhilHealth Coverage for the PWDs will attentively promote accessibility to their medical needs and empower them at the same time.

Senator Risa Hontiveros who was the author of the bill served as an angel in disguise as
she stated her point of view about the universal health care for all Filipinos she got in mind: “As we strive for universal health care, this measure will help ensure that no one will be left behind”. Inducing help for the PWDs corresponds with showing care for them wherein in this way, they feel loved and that not only their families care for them but the government itself.

The government should possess a sincere care for its people because it will influence its
people to become productive in society. This bill will surely lessen the depression that the PWDs would feel, in the world where some of them feel useless without any hope in their hearts because their maintenance medicines, doctor check – ups or appointments, therapy sessions and the like because they cannot afford it since some PWDs are living in poverty and they are not like those experienced people that are able to work for the expenses needed immediately.

Looking at this idea, the government should give attention more to the PWDs and delete the notion that they are not ideal citizens to promote an impact for the rise of our economics because they cannot work according to how a person not facing the problems a PWD can do. History can attest to the scenarios before wherein those people who are disabled are hidden away from the general population as it seems that they are making them feel cursed or penalized from being born that way. The government should not pessimistically look at it that way, the government should “make a disable individual able” since it’s the government’s job to provide, promote the general welfare and protect its citizens. These people should be brought with arms wide open into the society where jobs suited for them are given to them.

When a person has disabilities, people tend to forget unintentionally to overlook the
extreme potential for them to have a mental illness. These people surely have been dreaming to become normal individuals just like the rest of the people in a society but then some people insensitively makes fun of them or bullies them that make them feel more useless in this world. It is a common notion that bullying is not only socially isolating but also opens prejudices and discrimination that a person can bring throughout all his or her life existence.

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Some people would also deprive and question them from getting the treatment they truly deserved that includes love and understanding that they should be getting more.

The bill clearly made the PWDs situation from being unrepresented and poorly treated to a step to improvement for progress. It can be considered as an aid for a person’s injured heart that promotes mobility. At the end of the day, all people with or without any disabilities deserve to be equally valued and respected because the value of it will build an inclusive society developed by the diversity that will surely benefit all the citizens.