June 9, 2023

How could a high-functioning individual turn into being dysfunctional?
I was waiting for my turn to pick up an item in one of the establishments in Baguio when a woman suddenly appeared beside me. She was speaking incoherently in a loud voice. I did not get much sense out of her. My fighting reflex was stimulated, ready to defend for any attack. Luckily, she walked away as she kept uttering things nobody could understand.
I looked behind her and wondered how she got to this point. She dressed fashionably; it complemented her looks although her make-up was overdone. People in the vicinity laughed and shared inferences as she passed by.
Mental illness, also called mental health disorder, refers to a wide range of behavioral patterns that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, mental health can change over time, depending on many factors. When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted.
Patients suffering from the condition have their own stories of struggle and strife. Along the way, no support system was available for them. They find ways to cope, but their indifference became the cause of mockery, judgment, and ridicule. Over time, the disorder took over. It drowned the victims from a world of distress to the world of insanity.
The Philippine WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health conducted in the early part of 2020 shows at least 3.6 million Filipinos suffer from one kind of mental, neurological, and substance use disorder. The data is alarming. It is a wake-up call for us to gain awareness of mental health and give importance to it.
The cruel fact is, when someone shows signs of mental disturbance, we are quick to react negatively. Lori Deschene advises us to practice how to hold back. Practice the pause. Pause before judging. Pause before assuming. Pause before accusing. Pause whenever you’re about to react harshly and you’ll avoid doing and saying things you’ll later regret.
I support this view as I believe everyone is vulnerable. We are all vulnerable of falling into the pitfall of insanity, yet we are susceptible of leaving our tongue unguarded. Let us tame our tongue. Let us not speak, unless what we utter is uplifting. Let us refuse to be a contributory factor to the downfall of the feeble.
To every broken soul, hold on. When at the edge, recharge. Allow yourself to get through negative emotions. Cry. Breathe deeply. Stand. Keep going. Above all, pray. Yahweh is close to the brokenhearted; He saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalms 34:18)Yes, a whisper of prayer fights your demons inside. Repeat the cycle. (ANGIE L. DAMPALIG)