Sunday, January 6, 2013

... gma: wish ko lang helps out soliman cruz ... (life coach, counselor, psychotherapist, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, osteopath, quezon city, manila, philippines)

it's been more than a decade since i first met soliman cruz.  even from the beginning, i recognized in this actor soliman the marks of genius- his passionate love for acting, his dedication in honing his craft, and his generous desire to teach and coach aspiring artists.  

my impressions of him back then continue up to the present: i still perceive him to be a very right-brained type of person, very feelings-oriented, creative, humorous, free-spirited, and eccentric.  he flows with whatever circumstance he finds or gets himself in and he pours all of himself into the moment.  he treats the world as his playground where he lets his childlikeness cut loose.

HAVE A GOOD LAUGH WITH THIS ONE!  Soliman Cruz in the 
Boysen Paint commercial entitled "Home Sweet Home"

Boysen Paint commercial entitled "Mother-in-Law"

but like all of us, soliman has within himself demons that taunt him and ghosts that haunt him:  he openly talks to friends and media about his unstable marriage; he himself confesses that he struggles with drug use and has even attended narcotics anonymous support groups in the past; and from his own mouth too, he admits that he converses with the "voices" in his head.  many people, in fact, were both shocked and saddened to see soliman walking aimlessly along Roxas Boulevard like a greased-up hobo, talking to himself and at times, sleeping by the seawall.

a few people reacted quite hastily and angrily when they watched me on tv giving soliman a diagnosis of 'methamphetamine dependence with probable schizophrenia.'  for these people, they considered my action to be a breach of confidentiality between doctor and patient.  

i want to remind them though that there was nothing confidential, nothing secret about his life that i divulged.  the staff of jessica soho and of vicky morales brought soliman to me because for them, it was pretty obvious that he was exhibiting strange (aka abnormal) behaviors.  in fact, it was soliman himself who requested to have personal consultations with me, bringing along with him the tv crews of jessica soho and vicky morales on separate occasions.  

the diagnosis which i gave soliman was based on symptoms and behaviors which soliman himself had divulged to media and which countless others had clearly observed in him.  people don't need specialized knowledge in psychology or psychiatry to know that "conversing with voices in the head" and "shabu use" are not normal.  in giving soliman a diagnosis, i merely translated into medical jargon the symptoms which soliman himself had announced to media: 

-  soliman admitted to media hearing voices in his head + talking to the voices. medical translation: hallucinations -> psychosis -> probable schizophrenia

-  soliman admitted to media his history of shabu use + battling addiction + attendance at narcotics anonymous groups." medical translation:  methamphetamine dependence.

what people don't know is that soliman and i had discussed beforehand about the content of the interview and thus, soliman, with full awareness, granted me permission to say whatever i said on tv.  in fact, it was i who was protective of soliman by constantly reminding the tv crew through text messages not to portray soliman in bad light, lest his career gets ruined.

jessica soho's and  vicky morales' teams brought soliman cruz to my clinic with noble intentions: 
(1) to get soliman cruz treated and rehabilitated, 
(2) to educate the public about the psychiatric consequences of illicit drug use, and most importantly, 
(3) to instill hope in soliman cruz and give him a new lease on life.

soliman publicly claims that he is able to ignore the voices in his head when it is time to act, and this is exemplary proof of how single-minded and focused he can be as an actor.  in fact, soliman's exceptional acting prowess was again displayed in the recent award-winning movie 'el presidente.'  

as a last word, i want to say that giving soliman cruz a psychiatric diagnosis does not, in any way, diminish his dignity as a person, his genius as an artist, and his likeability as a friend.  and while some people have nothing better to do than create sensationalized controversies about him or me, i would rather let soliman know that if ever and whenever he needs my help, i'll gladly be there to help him like i've always done in the past!   

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