November 29, 2023

I did not know that mental health concerns are now categorized as an ailment until I was told by my wife that it is. According to her, it is an occupational, emotional, and personal suffering that finds its roots on psychological and mental fatigue brought about by the grind, stress, and pressure of daily living.
Oh boy, life has really changed. This kind of sickness was not even heard of before and the mere mention of anything related to mental instability was immediately associated with a disorder of the brain. In local parlance, we call it “kuliling.” Try calling that now and you will be branded as a racist.
At any rate, prescribed medicines do not have any long-term effect on mental health. They give temporary relief yet, in the end, it is more placebo than curative, more mental than physical. This is the reason why depression is at its highest and people who are afflicted with mental health concerns are prone to suicide or self-inflicted injuries. Moreover, mental health issues have largely contributed to the destruction and division of families. The only way to avoid mental health concerns is to relax and allow those affected to do the work that they find relaxing, if there is such a thing. This, however, is counter-productive.
In our current environment, relaxing is quite difficult to achieve. The new breed of Filipinos has been born and raised in an atmosphere of competition. They are materialistic, to say the least, and are head over heels over their careers. Their family takes a backseat and in their mind is the will to succeed, whatever means to them, That is why even the birth rate in the country has dwindled because of the sudden change in priorities of our new generation.
Whereas before, they are willing to settle for what is comfortable, now, they only settle for what is luxurious. In the process, they claw and crave for the impossible to the extent that they are able and willing to sell their souls to the corporate ladder just to be “best.” They toil and slave to attain their goals sleeping only too little and enjoying less of their lives.
Then, at the end of the day, they find out that they are tired beyond repair. They try to mend their broken bones and bodies by drinking, partying and marrying, realizing too late that these activities only aggravate their condition. It is then that mental health issues come in.
They say concerns on mental health started during the pandemic when people were quarantined and were not able to have the freedom to do the things that free men are supposed to do. I do not agree. Mental health issues are not the product of isolation, but are ingrained in the desire to do more than what the body and brain are capable of doing. The disease comes into existence the moment an individual overpowers himself and imposes unto himself ambitions or goals that are not realistic. It is when he places stress on his mind and continues despite the signs that his brain can only take so much. Of course, it is aggravated when other people tolerate the excess of others and dare to criticize harshly what is plainly there to see and hear.
Hence, it helps that sometimes, we have long vacations such as the one we just spent during the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections and All Saints’ Day break. That was almost a week of total rest and I am pretty sure, those who would get back to work on Monday are refreshed and energized. Spending time with family and friends is the best cure against mental health problems.
December is just around the corner and another round of long weekend is on deck. We look forward to this forthcoming vacation as it breaks the cycle of work and allows us to gain the energy to be productive again.