Ladies and gentlemen, I have thought it time to discuss a much overlooked topic.
Considering everything that’s been happening in Philippine history and the way common Pinoys tend to react in the worst way possible, I think it’s time to re-evaluate the things that we accept and take as facts. To truly understand the mind of the average Filipino and find a solution for his problems, we need to evaluate his psyche and identify the cause of all his issues. Unfortunately, due to various social stigmas, we almost always come to the wrong conclusions and make the problem worse than it already is.
That’s right, to this day, the idea of seeking “professional help” is anathema to most Filipinos because there’s the implication that one is weak or mentally unsound if they ever seek help from a counselor or psychiatrist. In the end, by choosing to ignore one’s mental imbalances, one just adds insult to their psychological injuries, leading to further problems and, at worst, eventual insanity.
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Look, to make things short, as a country, I think the Philippines is insane. From the way we’re beholden to celebrities and vote them into office to the way we engage in self-destructive behavior we insist as “culture”, I have long felt that the country is just one big nuthouse. Now wait, before you say I’m being conceited, I can also admit that I am not a balanced individual either.
Anyway, my point here is that a lot of us probably need help from professionals if we want to get over our issues. Unfortunately, due to the way that professional help is stigmatized by media (especially teleseryes that don’t even understand proper medical and psychological protocols) and by local superstitions, many of us are discouraged to even look for help. At the end of the day, we just deny our issues and, by doing so, allow them to fester and rot in our minds until we go insane over them.
Here are some of the most common misconceptions about seeking help and how they are, essentially, wrong:
If I Seek Help, Everyone Will Think I’m Crazy
Okay, there is some truth to this considering how heavily stigmatized seeking psychiatric help is. However, if you can be discreet about it, you probably won’t have much of a problem. Besides, counselors and psychiatrists can keep your appointments confidential if you ask them to and it’s all just a matter of your keeping your own mouth shut about the issue.
Look, when you visit a psychiatrist, it’s not just simply a matter of the psychiatrist standing up and declaring you’re insane. They will evaluate your condition first before making any kind of conclusion, as is often the case with just about any kind of medical procedure. And even then, after you’ve been fully evaluated, the psychiatrist will simply try to consider what action to take for your best interest.
A psychiatrist isn’t suppose to judge, remember that. They’re just there to find out what you’re problem is and give you suggestions on how you can best remedy it.
If I Seek Help, They’ll Throw Me Into The Mental Hospital
A fairly common misconception. Unless, you’re dangerous to others or yourself, a psychiatrist or counselor isn’t going to do any such thing. Besides, this kind of thinking is far outdated and modern, professional psychology and psychiatry are about evaluating the condition of the client, not declaring them insane off the bat and getting them committed to a mental hospital.
In fact, one can note that a counselor and psychiatrist’s job is to prevent the client from being required to go to a hospital. Their job is essentially to identify the problem as early as possible and find a means to treat it. That way, it prevents the issues from either becoming a lifetime trait (which will do hell for your social life, believe me) or worsen into insanity.
So, if you think that going to a psychiatrist will eventually lead you to going to a mental hospital, think again. They’re probably the only people who can actually keep you from being locked-up in a padded cell where you start believing that you’re Michael Jackson
If I Seek Help, I’ll Go Crazy Even Faster
Probably one of the worst offenders of the whole bunch. The thing is, you’re seeking professional help to identify the problem and prevent it from getting worse. Saying that going to a psychiatrist will make you even crazier faster is probably the most absurd statement I’ve ever heard from anyone.
If this is the case, then tell me, why are psychiatrists some of the most well-paid professionals out there? If this is the case, why do successful companies consult professional psychologists for their advertising campaigns? If this is the case, why is it that so many of the celebrities many Filipinos are beholden to consult them anyway and advertise their status to the masses?
According to a few observations, we Filipinos aren’t the only people with this stigmatized view of seeking help. It seems other third-world countries also suffer from this kind of mindset.
Just so you know, I’m only speaking from experience. Early in 2014, before I became a writer here in GRP, I was a troubled individual with no sense of direction. I was depressed, suicidal and possibly even dangerous.
But after finding the right kind of help for my troubles, I found my footing and have walked on ever since towards self-improvement. I can’t say I’m completely happy and, as some people might note, I still have quite a few problems every now and again. However, I no longer feel powerless and even the worst of my worries turn out to be solvable problems in the end.
So look, despite what the media and local gossip might say, professional counseling has come a long way in helping people with their mental imbalances. Don’t be afraid to seek out professional help when you feel suicidal or when you think you can’t take it anymore.
As my counselor and later employer likes to say:
“Denial and delusion are the first steps toward madness.”
I HAVE RETURNED TO LAY WASTE TO OUR ENEMIES!