April 13, 2024

I don’t go by any other name. I am neither likened to Superman or Wonderwoman but I believe I have superpowers. Crazy thoughts, right? Define crazy.
I am just me – human enough and a person with Psychosocial Disability. Now, why am I talking about superheroes?
I am, first and foremost, a person with disability (PWD) and a PWD ID bearer and take note, not a PWD ID holder. Does my joke make a grammatical point?
Second, my disability comes within the bracket of a mental disorder that can be proven through a medical certificate from a public hospital which is from the Baguio General Hospital Psychiatry Department. Yes, admitting I see a shrink often never made me ashamed of my circumstances.
Third, I am part of the Baguio with Women Disability Organization as a Vice-President for Psychosocial Disability under the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO). I collaborate and help with initiatives under the wing of PDAO for people with mental disorders.
Fourth, I am a member of the Baguio City Mental Health Council as included in the Mental Health Awareness and Well-being Ordinance. I am a mental health advocate, a service-user patient representative and mental health non-professional. Bottom line, I represent those diagnosed with mental disorders.
The list goes on about me. But really, this is not about me. Promise! It’s about all of us who have gone through, have been going through and will have to go through mental issues and disorders. Not that I want you to go through the ordeal but I say, it happens.
People with Psychosocial Disability as it is, do not have a common face or even a status quo. Sometimes, it may even be a happy facade. Some say it’s an illness for intelligent people. No words of stereotyping or generality can be used to describe anyone with a Psychosocial Disability. Even crazy, is a term that I hate to describe anyone with Psychosocial Disability.
But hey, I have perks. I get a 20 percent off on groceries, restaurant, food, and medicines. That’s a lot of savings plus I get to be at par with senior citizens without reaching the age of 60 and pregnant women for the priority lane during long lines. Was that the reason I got the PWD ID?
Mental disorders encompass any appearance regardless of weight, height, and size. It is invisible but it is not only in the mind. It is a culmination of things and has to be clinically diagnosed by a psychiatrist.
Now, is a disability also a liability? I believe I wouldn’t have come this far without going through my experiences. It has made me unique, made me learn and feel, and made me empathize with others. I believe it is part of my journey to self-awareness and I can see it as a superpower to inspire people to continue no matter the circumstances. Not to compare their journey with mine but to realize that some really can find people who will choose to journey with them.
I think it has made me an extraordinary being and has kept me grounded and thankful. It’s more like the superpower of giving that stone to “Darna” with a small mouth. I wonder, did she choke or chew it? Joke again. It’s like seeing the Spiderman on screen again with Uncle Ben saying, “With great power comes great responsibility”.
I don’t know what your take on disability is but I believe there is no thin line between normal and abnormal or sanity and insanity. But on second thoughts, why is it I’m the only one loudly coming out as a person with Psychosocial Disability? My views and experiences are entirely my own but as I say, “It’s not about me – it’s about everyone”.
Should you want to get a PWD ID, hopefully not for the perks, but for the identity and protection of your rights as a person with disability, get in touch with Samuel G. Aquino at the PDAO.