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Mental illness is not an excuse, and we need to understand |

Health And Family

Mental illness is not an excuse, and we need to understand

May Dedicatoria -
Mental illness is not an excuse, and we need to understand
Everyone deserves a safe space.

To understand the younger generation’s mental health challenges, it’s crucial to remember that these young individuals are not seeking excuses. They can be navigating anxiety, attention difficulties, depression, bipolar disorder and eating disorders—and unlike us, they are more proactive in seeking medical intervention.

Here, we explore various mental health conditions and manifestation/behaviors to watch out for, with the goal of better understanding the mentally challenged and what they are going through. It’s not an exhaustive list, but we hope this can guide us toward greater empathy and comprehension.

Anxiety disorders

  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD): Young individuals with social anxiety may avoid social situations, leading to isolation. They have difficulty making friends or participating in group activities.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): They may constantly worry about various aspects of life, making it challenging to focus on tasks or engage in relaxed conversations.

If a college student is struggling with an anxiety disorder, he or she may often decline invitations to parties or group gatherings because of fear of being judged by her peers. The condition can also make it difficult for the teenager to form new friendships, or if he or she has friends, may feel left out when they plan without him or her.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Inattentiveness: Young people with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention in school or during conversations, leading to misunderstandings and missed information.
  • Impulsivity: They may act without thinking, which can manifest as interrupting others or making impulsive decisions that impact those around them.

For a high school student with ADHD, he or she may find it challenging to pay attention to the teacher’s lectures during class. He or she may also frequently interrupt discussions with off-topic comments. In group projects, impulsivity may cause issues with classmates as he or she tends to make quick decisions without considering inputs of teammates.


  • Social withdrawal: Depressed individuals may isolate themselves from friends and family, making it challenging to maintain relationships or engage in social activities.
  • Negative thinking: They might get too attached to worst-case scenarios, preventing them to try new things.

When a young professional is battling depression, he or she may often cancel plans with friends and family, preferring to stay in bed all day. Loved ones may notice that they lose interest in the things that used to bring joy. They worry about his or her isolation and overall lack of motivation.

Bipolar Disorder

  • Manic episodes: During manic phases, young people with bipolar disorder may engage in risky behaviors such as excessive spending or substance abuse, which can have negative consequences on their lives and relationships.
  • Depressive episodes: During depressive episodes, they may become withdrawn, lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, and struggle to maintain daily routines.

For another young person who has bipolar disorder, he or she may spend money recklessly on unnecessary items during manic episodes—which may result in financial trouble. In contrast, during depressive episodes, he or she may withdraw from his friends and become apathetic about studies, leading to academic struggles.

Eating disorders

  • Isolation: Individuals with eating disorders may isolate themselves to hide their disordered eating behaviors and body image concerns.
  • Obsession with food and weight: They may exhibit preoccupation with food, weight, and appearance, making it difficult to engage in conversations unrelated to these topics.

As older generations, we must replace judgment with understanding, criticism with compassion, and stigma with acceptance. Everyone deserves a safe space, where we can openly discuss our mental health concerns without fear of judgment or dismissal.


The Department of Health urges people seeking professional support to get in touch with the National Center for Mental Health hotlines at 0917-899-USAP (8727) or 899-USAP (8727); or its Mind Matters hotline at 0918-942-4864.

Editor’s Note: This #BrandSpace story is produced by the Advertising Content Team that is independent from our Editorial Newsroom.


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