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Broad Minded People: Mental Illness in the Philippines

I was having an intellectual conversation with a credit card customer services representative located in the Philippines. I asked her how mental illness was perceived in the Philippines, particularly psychosis. I asked her if there was stigma associated with mental illness. She said, “ooohh they are considered broad minded people, highly creative, artistic, and authors. They are respected.”  I let her know that I think mental illness is a gift of challenge. It challenges my life but nevertheless it has made me a better person. I told her that in the past I used to see things that other people couldn’t see, hallucinations and delusions in which I thought I was the chosen one or a prophet. I told her that my supervisor told me that he thinks mental illness/ psychosis is a sixth sense. She said, “Oh really? Like the movie. That sounds so scary. I thought those were only things you can see in movies. I didn’t know it was actually real. Wow that is so interesting.”

Then we started talking about books. I told her I wrote a book titled Bipolar Girl: My Psychotic Self. I told her that I work in the mental health field helping people. I informed her that I publically speak on the stigma associated with mental illness and promote wellness and recovery.  I told her that she can google me and I have been featured on television and radio. She said with excitement, “Wow! You are a broad minded person. I’m going to tell all my friends that I talked to a famous person from the United States. I’m going to tell all my friends to buy your book!”  I told her that I’m working on my second edition titled Hope: A Journey of Faith and Mental Health Recovery. It has a more recovery oriented and hopeful ending.  I told her that one of my favorite books is titled The Secret and it is about the Law of Attraction. I explained to her that the Law of Attraction changed my life and it helped me think positive and I learned that “thoughts create things.” I love art and I paint myself reaching out to the sun and I’m very spiritual.

She said, “Wow! Can I attract being a broad minded person, like you?”

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