Saturday, March 23, 2013

... tv5: so, did Kristel Tejada kill herself over U.P.'s "oppressive" tution fee system? ... (life coach, counselor, psychotherapist, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, quezon city, manila, philippines)

some people have now glorified Kristel Tejada to be a hero of sorts, a poster girl for all young people who want to pursue an education but cannot afford it.  however, to think that Kristel Tejada committed suicide simply because she couldn't pay her tuition is a silly thought.  It is an erroneous thought categorized under the 'Fallacy of a Single Cause.'   Suicide is a complex issue and cannot be explained by a simple cause-and-effect type of reasoning.  The truth is, we don't really know why Kristel committed suicide, and we can only make assumptions on why she did it and what triggered her to do so.  

it was for this reason that jc gotinga of tv5's reaksyon daily visited me- to ask me about Kristel.   

as a psychiatrist, the first question on my mind was whether Kristel was suffering from major (clinical) depression because people with major depression carry an inherently high risk for suicide.  

if she did have major depression, was the depression present even BEFORE the tuition fee problem?  if so, any problematic situation (not necessarily the tuition fee problem) would have aggravated or worsened her already-existent depression, leading her to commit suicide.  

Or did the tuition fee problem TRIGGER the onset of a major depression?  we have to understand though that a "trigger" is NOT the same as a "cause."  a trigger may simply be the last straw, of ALL the previously-accumulated straw, that finally breaks the camel's back.  in other words, Kristel's tuition fee problem was probably just the very tip of a massive iceberg of other burdensome problems she was experiencing (e.g., family problems, parental pressure; personal insecurities, etc.).  

There are a million questions needed to be asked in order to understand Kristel's suicide.  In fact, a whole dissertation could be made on Kristel's case for which unfortunately, I don't have time to do.   

I have no intention of judging Kristel but I also want to be fair.  The only good outcome of Kristel's suicide is that her death was "used" by student groups to raise awareness about the plight of financially-challenged kids deprived of an education.  However, we have to stop glamorizing Kristel's suicide as a battlecry to reduce tuition fees.  We have to see suicide for what it really is: Suicide is a PERMANENT ESCAPE from a TEMPORARY PROBLEM. 

If the only reason Kristel killed herself was SIMPLY BECAUSE she couldn't pay her tuition, then her suicide is a shameful cop-out.  such a suicide is a lowly act, an act of defeat, considering that there are millions of young kids out there who also cannot afford an education but who do not kill themselves.  instead, these kids bravely suck up the challenges of life and strive hard to work their way to college.  these kids are the true heroes, because they strive hard to overcome the hurdles that come their way.

and so, this brings me back to the original question- did Kristel Tejada kill herself over U.P.'s "oppressive" tuition fee system?  I would categorically have to say "no, she did not."  Kristel's suicide needs to be understood from the whole broad context of her complicated life, and not just from the simplistic and superficial angle of tuition fees.   

... abs-cbn The Buzz: The Jason Francisco-John Pratts War ... (life coach, counselor, psychotherapist, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, quezon city, manila, philippines)

hmm ... another war on tv, this time, between jason francisco and john pratts.  in case you still don't know about the whole brouhaha, jason francisco felt that the cast of the comedy show Banana Split was bullying his girlfriend, melai cantiveros.  in jason's anger, he exploded with a 1-2-3 punch on john pratts' pretty face, leading John to file a law suit against jason.

MJ Felipe of abs-cbn's The Buzz passed by my clinic to inquire about the psychology of jason francisco.

apparently, jason was being protective of his girlfriend melai from what he perceived was aggressive teasing  from the cast.  in jason's mind, aggression begets aggression and thus, he retaliated with physical violence on the first person he could get a hold on.  unfortunately, that person happened to be john pratts. 

of course, it is normal for us to feel angry and sometimes, when we become extremely angry, we may even have violent thoughts running in our minds.  needless to say (but i'll say it anyway), it is NEVER acceptable to act out thoughts of physical aggression or violence.  clearly then, jason needs lessons on anger management and conflict management.

Friday, March 22, 2013

... yahoo OMG!: The Kris-James War ... (life coach, counselor, psychotherapist, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, osteopath, quezon city, manila, philippines)

Say Cheese!

The Kris-James ‘war’: At what (emotional) cost?

By  | Say Cheese! – 1 hour 40 minutes ago
In a war, no one wins. And when the war centers on highly-visible parents, it is the innocent child who suffers all the more.
In the case of Kris Aquino and ex-husband James Yap, it is their five-year-old son Bimby, who emerges as the the worst casualty.
Take it from psychologist-life coach Dr. Randy Dellosa.
“Parental conflict, especially when intense emotions are displayed, is always psychologically toxic and traumatic for children. Children need to feel safe and secure in the company of their parents. When they’re  exposed to their parents’ emotional battles, they grow up feeling worried, afraid, depressed, angry, and insecure,” he says.
Those familiar with the latest Kris-James saga know Bimby saw his parents wrangling right in front of him. Kris even said that she saw the boy crying because he thinks his dad was not telling the truth.
Dellosa explains the heart-rending scene at the lobby of Kris’ place.
“Children want to be loyal to both parents but are sometimes forced to take sides. Sometimes, they even feel that they are the cause of their parents’ arguments.”
When this happens, Dellosa says many children start becoming a problem at school and at home. Others, he adds, cope by turning the table on parents. They start acting like adults towards their ‘immature’ elders.

Damage Control
Luckily, it’s not yet too late.  Dellosa says Kris and/or James can do some damage control to bring Bimby back on track, emotionally.
“First of all, it is important for Kris and James not to quarrel in Bimby’s presence. Secondly, both Kris and James should reassure him of their love and that he is not to blame for their problems. Thirdly, Kris and James should not badmouth each other in front of Bimby. And lastly, they should allow Bimby to express his feelings about his parents and about the situation,” Dellosa states.
For Dellosa, Kris was right in giving up her career so her son can have a quiet life
“Philippine showbiz is all about drama, controversy, and scandal and thus, it might be a good decision for Kris to leave showbiz if she really wants to live a simpler and more quiet life,” he explains.
What’s more important though, is for her to heal and learn from her mistakes.
The psychologist thinks Kris should learn how to interact with James in a more peaceful way and avoid jumping into a rebound relationship.
Let’s not forget James, who needs help as much as Kris and Bimby do.
“It’s important for James to let the dust settle first before making any further moves. He needs to give Kris and Bimby the physical and emotional space that they need. James himself needs to undergo individual counseling so he can deal with his emotional struggles and receive guidance on how to move on,” Dellosa stresses.
He advises Kris and James to get a relationship counselor so they can be civil towards each other and learn how to collaborate in parenting  Bimby.
“Kris and James should remember that they are still role models for Bimby even in the way that they deal with their conflicts,” Dellosa points out.
Parents, he explains, must teach their children to stay calm, rational and pro-active in times of conflict, instead of arguing emotionally or hysterically.
Finally, Dellosa borrows a line from Brad Pitt’s movie, “Troy” and addresses Kris and James.
“You’re still my enemy tonight. But even enemies can show respect.”
The line applies not just to Kris and James, but to other estranged couples and even ex-friends who want to keep their sanity when heated arguments threaten to cloud their judgment, and that of the very people they seek to protect.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

... manila bulletin: major depression and suicide, treatment and therapy ... (life coach, counselor, psychotherapist, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, osteopath, quezon city, manila, philippines)

Major Depression:  Are you Bluer than Blue?

Know the tell-tale signs of a major depression
By: Randy Dellosa, MD
Published: March 12, 2013

All of us, at one time or another, get the blues. 
When we experience a disappointment, a 
frustration, or a loss, it is only natural that we 
feel low and down in the dumps. After some 
time passes, we are able to recover from the 
sad thoughts or feelings and we are able to 
set them aside in order to focus on our tasks 
at hand. 

The difference between normal sadness and 
major depression is that normal sadness is 
often fleeting and can be shrugged off easily. 
Major depression, on the other hand, is 
characterized by a lingering emotional 
heaviness and by symptoms which can 
disturb the routines of daily living. 

The symptoms of major depression include 
the following: 

@ changes in the sleep pattern, 

changes in appetite, 

decreased energy level, 

decreased self-confidence and self-worth, 

pessimistic mindset full of worries, fears, 
and concerns, 

poor concentration, 

loss of motivation and zest for living, 

lingering feelings of sadness and irritability, 

possibly even thoughts of death or suicide. 

Major depression is caused by a serotonin 
imbalance in the brain. Serotonin is a brain 
chemical which is highly associated with 
mood changes. This serotonin imbalance 
in the brain may be triggered by a number 
of factors such as emotional problems, 
psychological trauma, medical conditions 
such as hypothyroidism, medicines such as 
hormonal pills and anti-hypertensives, and 
alcoholism or marijuana use. Moreover, 
there is strong evidence that major 
depression is transmitted through the 

While people can snap out of normal sadness, 
depressed people will not be able to snap out 
of major depression. Again, we have to 
remember that major depression is caused by 
a chemical imbalance in the brain and thus, 
telling depressed people to snap out of their 
depression is like telling diabetic patients to 
snap out of their diabetes.

The good news about major depression is 
treatable and that it is quite easy to treat. The 
treatment package of major depression 
should include anti-depressant medication, 
psychotherapy, stress management 
techniques, and wellness therapies. 

With the right anti-depressant at the right 
dosage, the patient should experience 
significant improvement within two to three 
weeks. Ideally, the patient should not also 
experience any side-effects such as 
headaches, stomach upset, palpitations, 
allergies, loss of appetite, emotional 
numbness, etc.

Psychotherapy is an important part of the 
treatment plan because it is often emotional 
problems or psychological trauma that trigger 
the onset of major depression. Through 
psychotherapy, the patient is given the 
opportunity to ventilate bothersome feelings 
or release pent-up emotions. The patient’s 
caregivers (family members and friends) 
may also need psychotherapy since the 
patient’s negative mood is often contagious. 

With regards to stress management 
techniques and wellness therapies, the 
patient can try acupuncture, massage, 
meditation, qigong, yoga, or other types of 
exercise. Omega-3 fish oil at one capgel two 
to three times a day may also be helpful. 
The herbal supplement St John’s Wort is 
considered an anti-depressant medication
 and should not be combined with synthetic 

If you feel depressed, don’t delay getting 
treatment. Consult a psychiatrist now! Don’t 
waste your life feeling “bluer than blue.” 
What you deserve is to experience and enjoy 
the richness of life in all its bright colors!

Holistic Healing for You by Randy Dellosa, MD
Dr. Randy Dellosa or "Doc Randy," is the life 
coach-psychotherapist of Filipino celebrities. 
He is the first and so far the only Filipino who 
is both a psychiatrist (M.D.) and doctor of 
clinical psychology (Psy.D.)