Mental illness in the Philippines is more prevalent than most people think, but sadly, many still consider it either a taboo topic or something to joke about. Statements such as "I'm depressed" are often used losely, so much so that people who actually are depressed and are on the verge of taking their own lives are told that they're "OA" or "madrama." It is only when it's too late that people regret listening to these barely masked cries for help.
"One in four adults actually suffers from mental illness," Elizabeth Medina, a student at University of Texas at Austin shares with her audience at a recent Tedx Talk. She speaks honestly about her bout with depression, and how this condition can mask itself behind successful people. Chances are, you know several of these high-functioning adults who laugh with friends and pay their bills, but who never show the loneliness and isolation they feel on a daily basis.
Mental illness needs to be discussed and addressed, which is why Elizabeth decided to speak up. "We want to sit here and pretend like we shouldn't talk about it because talking about mental illness is weird... I want you all to know that we can have a very human conversation about a very human experience, and it won't be hard... Just open your heart."