Health And Family

Francis Baraan IV gives tips to bipolar like him to cope this pandemic

Jan Milo Severo - Philstar.com
Francis Baraan IV gives tips to bipolar like him to cope this pandemic
Human rights and mental health advocate Francis Baraan IV
Francis Baraan IV via Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Human rights and mental health advocate Francis Baraan IV gave an advice to bipolar people like him to properly cope this time of COVID-19 pandemic. 

In an interview with Philstar.com, Francis said keeping a routine is good because without structure, most of them will contemplate on unhealthy thoughts. 

“I find that keeping a routine is good, especially for bipolars like me. Otherwise, without the regimented structure, most of us would either be all over the place doing so many things all at once and not finishing anything, or contemplating unhealthy thoughts,” he said.  

Diagnosed with the mental disorder in 2010, Francis suggests to have a regular teleconsult with a doctor and stick to their prescribed maintenance medications. 

“Also, for those bipolars like me who have been formally diagnosed already, I would suggest having a regular teleconsult with your doctor if you can, and to please stick to your prescribed maintenance medications. Medications for bipolar people is no different from medications for, say, diabetics. Most people don't know that bipolar disorder is also a lifetime, mood-affective (mental) disorder,” he said.  

For Francis, regular exercise, reading books, watching TV and music therapy help him this pandemic. 

“I cope with COVID-19 with 30-minute exercises early in the morning, some kind of work-related stuff later in the morning, and since one cannot go out like we used to before, I honestly do a lot of Netflix and chilling late in the afternoon,” he said.  

“And music therapy. I try to squeeze in listening to some of the songs and music I like before going to bed. And since I am such a bibiliophile and an obsessive reader, I also read a book whenever I can,” he added. 
When asked what’s make him bipolar, Francis believe that it was in his genes. 

“There are copious amounts of medical literature that says bipolar disorder is genetic. And I must say, in my case, that is true. Our family has a history of mental health problems, and some of my relatives are actually bipolar and schizophrenic, too. Bipolar disorder could also be triggered by alcohol and drug abuse. But I think you have to have the "bipolar gene" to be predisposed,” he said.  

Apart from being a human rights and mental health advocate, Francis is an entrepreneur, hotelier and 2020 The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) finalist. He also has a quarter of a million followers on his social media accounts.

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