Rhian Ramos knows whereof she speaks when she talks about mental health issues.
With the people's fears about the contagion being compounded by the weariness of isolation and distress over loss of income, medical experts here and abroad are alarmed.
They are seeing what is described in an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association as "an overflow of mental disorders."
Rhian shared the same observation with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other press people in an interview last Friday, May 15.
She said many of her peers, and even those who are younger, are suffering from anxiety and depression because of the CoVid 19 pandemic.
According to her, "Those feelings, yung getting anxious or getting depressed are very common for, I guess, everyone I know.
"Yung millennials… they became self-aware of not feeling good. Actually, people who are younger than me, are more prone to it also.
"The younger the generations, the more vocal they are about their mental health, their feelings."
talk about it to fight depression
Rhian said verbalizing your thoughts, feelings, fears and concerns with the people you trust is good for your emotional and mental well-being.
Encouraged by her, some fans have turned to Rhian to find comfort from their troubles, and there are those wanting to kill themselves.
She related, "A lot of my e-mails are from people who are younger are about either depression or suicide. So I talk to them about that.
"I explain that life is a timeline, and yung position na nakikita nila is somewhere in the middle.
"And there’s a whole part of it that’s after that na paiba-iba yung mga mangyayari sa iyo."
The Kapuso star said her way of rallying people out of their depression is to help them focus on their inner strength.
Her words to them, "The more na kaya mong i-withstand yung mas mahirap na sitwasyon, all things that are hard to other people will become easier for you.
"Para bang the more pressure you can handle, the stronger you’ll become.
"At saka, magugulat ka kasi every day na paggising mo, it will feel a little bit better.
"Magugulat ka na, ‘Ah wow, puwede pala yun, buhay pa ako.’
"And at a certain point, mawawala din yung pain."
stay SOCIALLY CONNECTED TO STAY SANE
On the other hand, at this time when social support is most needed to survive the crisis, and with social distancing becoming the norm, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. advises people to stay connected.
CDC says "use virtual communication"—e-mail, video chat, text messages, or social media—"to keep in touch to support your loved one and keep them safe."
Rhian has also been appealing to everyone to use social media "as a platform for honesty kasi that’s the only way we can communicate to the outside world sa ngayon."
She explained, "Nakita ko naman din na people... they’re used to social media dati, yun yung avenue na ano, e, pagandahan tayo ng buhay.
"Parang ganun yung mga pino-post ng mga tao. Kung ano lang yung masayang part ng buhay, yun lang yung pino-post.
"But now that we’re all in the same boat, mas nagiging honest yung mga social media pages. They’re just showing what they do from day to day."
Rhian said she has been sharing with her Instagrams followers her own bouts with depression, how she dealt with them, and what she has learned from the experience.
She related, "Pagka meron akong positive realization, shine-share ko siya sa social media.
"Honest ako sa mga followers ko, kapag meron akong mga araw na medyo nade-depress ako or something, sinasabi ko siya, tinatanggap ko yung feelings.
"'Tapos sinasabi ko siya sa IG live kasi 24 hours lang naman yun, e, mawawala rin.
"Pero dun sa feed, pag nagkaroon ako ng parang positive na lesson or realization pagkatapos nung lungkot, shineshare ko siya.
"Kasi baka may nakaka-relate dun sa pinagdaanan ko tapos kailangan niya rin marinig yung realization ko kasi hindi pa dumadating sa kanya parang ganun."
Rhian also left a piece of advice to everyone.
"Be very nice and patient. If you’re quarantined with your family or whoever, be patient and nice to the people that you live with.
"Kasi we’re going through some anxiety all at the same time so we have to be understanding towards each other.
"Hang in there. It’s not a forever thing. May mga magaganda tayong years.
"Sometimes we have bad years and it happens in different forms.
"Sometimes isa siyang recession, minsan binabagyo tayo.
"If there’s one thing that I know about Filipinos, it’s that we’re the most resilient.
"So let’s just hang in there and stick together and see what ways we can help one another and be kind."
May handang makinig at tumulong sa mga taong dumaranas ng anxiety at depression.
Tumawag sa mga hotlines ng The Hopeline Project sa (02) 804-HOPE (4673), sa 0917 558 HOPE (4673), o sa 2919 (toll-free number sa lahat ng Globe at TM subscribers).