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Entertainment

Albie Casiño describes what it’s like living with ADHD

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
Albie Casiño describes what itâs like living with ADHD

Albie Casiño said he’s always been open about having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but it was through his recent Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) stint that his condition drew more public attention.

“I’ve always been open about it ever since I found out. To me, it’s just telling someone, ‘Allergic ako sa alimango,’ parang ganun lang,” the PBB: Kumunity Season 10 celebrity housemate recently told The STAR in an exclusive Zoom interview.

When Albie came out of the PBB house, he realized that being forthright about it was a big deal for other people.

Albie with fellow PBB: Kumunity Season 10 celebrity housemates John Adajar, TJ Valderrama, Benedix Ramos, Karen Bordador and Shanaia Gomez.
Photos from Albie’s offi cial Instagram account

“Dun ko lang talaga na-realize that a lot of people are, I guess, nahihiya or ashamed to talk about it. So sobrang happy ako na napakita ko sa kanila na di kayo dapat mahiya na may ganyan, di ba? It’s really nothing,” he said.

The ABS-CBN actor shared that he’s been fully aware of his condition since he was 10. “I’m 28 years old now, so 18 years ko ng alam eh. Kumbaga sanay na ako mabuhay na merong ganun. I don’t know what life is like without it,” he said.

“It’s just something that’s there for me, na my whole life I had to deal with it. I don’t feel any different. In the States, it’s a disability but I don’t feel disabled. I think I’m able to do everything that everyone is able to do,” he added.

Albie recalled that he was first diagnosed with ADHD while in grade school at Ateneo de Manila University. “They would notice that when it came to written exams, super bano ko, like super bagsak. But oral recitation, magaling daw ako sa oral recitation. They know alam ko ang sagot but pagdating sa paper, di ko na alam ang sagot.”

The school made him undergo a series of tests and then informed his parents of the results.

“Of course, our parents, ayaw nila marinig yan na may diperensya yung anak mo, ganun-ganun. So, they took me to a second opinion na nag-diagnose din sa akin. And they brought me to a place called WorldLab in New Manila and it really deals with helping kids with learning disabilities,” he said.

He eventually moved to a smaller school, Victory Christian School, with only 14 students in his batch when they graduated. “To this day, I know those kids and their parents kasi 14 lang kami, mas marami pa sa Bahay ni Kuya,” he quipped.

After that, he went to La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) for high school because he wanted to prove a point.

He said, “Ang ni-recommend ng mga doctors sa akin before, ‘wag ako ilalagay sa environment na sobrang daming tao kasi mabilis yung attention span, mabilis lumipat.

“Dapat small environment, maximum of 20 students. (But I thought), ipapakita ko na kaya ko gawin, and I was able to graduate from LSGH and juggling acting (work) at the same time.”

Given the nature and environment of showbiz, Albie remembered experiencing anxiety when he was younger but not due to ADHD.

Without going into detail, he candidly said, “May konting anxiety especially nung bata ako and especially nung pinagdadaanan ko yung mga issues ko before.”

“But, I think, that (anxiety) was more stemming from the issues than the ADHD. I was getting anxiety kasi, ‘Oh man, pinag-uusapan naman nila yung issue ko. Oh man, may press na naman dito, itatanong na naman nila yun.’ That’s where the anxiety comes from.”

Looking back, he never felt discriminated against in showbiz because of his condition, though there were times when he had to explain to some co-artists.

“Sasabihin ko, I have ADHD and dyslexia, and they’ll go, ‘Ah, kaya pala’ or ‘ah OK.’ Alam mo yun? Na-ge-gets nila. ‘Kaya pala ang daldal mo,’ siguro yan sinasabi nila (laughs).”

When asked if his condition posed some challenges while inside the PBB house, where he stayed for 21 days, he said, “Nahirapan ako sa PBB but di ko alam if nahirapan ako dahil sa condition ko or dahil nahirapan lang talaga ako. Because I don’t really know what it’s like to live without it.”

As to how it worked to his advantage during his reality show stint, he said, “Based kay Dr. Randy (Dellosa), the in-house psychiatrist of PBB, sabi niya sa akin, yung high-energy ko daw, dun ko nakukuha, so I guess that’s an advantage for me.”

Albie further said, “Mas nahihirapan lang ako sa ibang bagay, pero may ibang bagay naman akong ginagawa na nahihirapan din yung ibang tao. (Like) I work out twice a day, three hours each time.”

He also thinks that is why he’s into rap and he’s good with punchlines because “siguro yung bilis ng isip ko…”

“And sa pag-ho-host ko, natutulungan niya ako dun,” the actor, who also runs his own podcast and YouTube show titled Stallion Talk.

Albie could be a celebrity ambassador for efforts to raise awareness and help erase any stigma surrounding the condition, which has been described by the ADHD Society of the Philippines as a “common serious neuro-biological disorder in every country affecting some three to four percent of the country’s population.”

He’s very open and willing to speak up more about living with ADHD on bigger platforms.

“I don’t know how I can but if there are people who want to get me to talk about it, I’m very willing to talk about it. Kasi feeling ko, I don’t want people to look at it and say, ‘Di ko kaya dahil may ganyan.’ Kaya mo yan! Anybody else can do talaga,” he said.

“Hopefully, they’ll (organizations) reach out after this,” he ended.

ADHD

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