December 7, 2023

Dear Manang,
Is it normal to be sad all the time? I don’t understand what makes me feel this way. I am sad because my brother has no permanent job and borrows money from different people. I am sad because my cousin is sick. I am not feeling well and can’t help my mother do housework. I lost my job too as a salesgirl. I am just sad all the time.
Rebecca of San Luis, Baguio City

Dear Rebecca,
You are depressed. Depression is a dangerous mental health condition that you must avoid by finding joy in something around you. One thing that has worked is eating something sweet. Sugar helps in giving you a rush of energy. Look at happy colors too. Look at the sky or the flowers growing in the garden. Find a smile and smile back. Look at a happy face or find your pet dog or cat and run your hand through their fur. Stroke your niece’s hair or comb it. You should not allow yourself to continue to be sad.
Get up and about,

Dear Manang,
How does one help a suicidal friend? I noticed how my girlfriend has slowly lost energy to do anything. She just stays in her room lying in bed and hasn’t taken a shower in the last three days. Her mother asked me to bring her out even just to market but she refuses then begins to shout. She becomes scary. We both lost our jobs but I haven’t given up yet. I know work will come soon. What can I do?
Onie of San Luis, Baguio City

Dear Onie,
What a coincidence. You must be neighbors with Ms. Rebecca. You have a task at hand to bring your friend out of this depression. Sadness is the first sign of depression and when it gets serious it can become suicidal, which we want to avoid. My better solution for myself is eating. If you can get your friend to eat something sweet, it is a start. When we nourish our body, it does a lot to stimulate our brain and emotions. Then a good feeling begins and the rest is easy. The first step is to get her to eat something. This is your creative challenge.
Try chocolates,