Monday, July 13, 2015

PBB 737: The Psychology of Infatuation and Infidelity: Ang Paglalaro ng Apoy nina Kamille at Kenzo

Kenzo to Kamille: Kung iisipin mo talaga, yung walang feelings, 
alam mo yung tamang gawin at hindi tama di ba? 
eh may feelings...

(Kenzo to Kamille: If you really think about it without involving your feelings,
you'll know what's right or wrong to do, isn't it?
The thing is however, there are feelings...) 

Having been a relationship counselor for many years, the number one problem that I encounter among couples is that of infidelity. Infidelity happens when the promise to be faithful to each other during a relationship is broken. 

I would like to use the relationship of Kamille and Kenzo as a case study for infidelity.  The problem of infidelity is a topic that is important to discuss because if it can happen among teens inside Kuya's house, then the more it can happen to anyone in the real world.

To start with, we need to ask whether infidelity is involved in the relationship of Kamille and Kenzo?

The answer is "yes!" Kamille does not only have a current boyfriend Justin, but also a child by him. Hence, the romantic friendship of Kamille and Kenzo is undeniably a betrayal.  Theirs is clearly "forbidden love."  

It is an obvious infidelity because before Kamille entered Kuya's house, Justin and Kamille had an ongoing relationship and kept a promise that they would be faithful to each other.  In fact, even Kamille admits her mistake about this.  

In this forbidden relationship, Kamille is considered to be the "cheater" or "two-timer." And as for Kenzo, he is the "third party," the "homewrecker," or in Miley Cyrus' terms, the "wrecking ball."  Justin and child are considered "the betrayed parties" or plainly, the "victims."

How did Kamille and Kenzo's romantic friendship happen?

The romantic relationship happened spontaneously, out of their infatuation for each other. 

Infatuation is an intense liking for each other. It is infatuation that created Kamille and Kenzo's whirlwind romance. 

People might call it "love at first sight," but in reality, there is no love involved.  Infatuation is more of an emotional high or sensual lust rather than true love. In tagalog, it is termed "kahalingan" or "kahibangan sa pagibig." 

Is the infatuation of Kamille and Kenzo wrong?

Definitely not! Infatuation is not willfully planned; it appears suddenly as an emotional impulse. They did not want infatuation to happen.  It just happened!

Where does infatuation originate?

There are many explanations for infatuation.

Infatuation happens on a subconscious level. It is our subconscious mind that selects the person we get infatuated with. 

Personally, I feel that infatuation is experienced more strongly by people who are emotionally needy and deprived. The more emotionally needy or emotionally deprived a person is, the greater the tendency to quickly fall in love.  

What are the types of people we get infatuated or obsessed with? 

We get infatuated with a person whom we subconsciously feel will meet our strong emotional needs. 

We also get infatuated with a person who subconsciously reminds us of a parent figure. A case in point might be your own romantic relationship: If you have a girlfriend or boyfriend right now, ask yourself whether your partner has more of your father's or mother's personality.    

Kenzo:  I know that you know it's wrong, 
but I also know that you know you can't stop it!

What is wrong in the Kamille and Kenzo relationship?

Infatuation is not inherently wrong. What is wrong in this situation is that both Kamille and Kenzo acted on their infatuation, thereby leading to an infidelity.  Never mind if a boyfriend and child are waiting for Kamille outside Kuya's house.  Never mind too if the same boyfriend and child are watching the minute details of their PDA on national TV.

Kamille's mistake was that she failed to set up and maintain her emotional boundaries.  As for Kenzo, he unthinkingly intruded into the emotional space rightfully belonging to Justin and Kamille's baby. 

In fact, if not for Kuya's wise and timely interventions, the romantic friendship would blossom into a full-blown affair. 

Kamille and Kenzo are proof that good and intelligent people can lose their minds and morals as they get overwhelmed by the passion of the moment.

Reports have it that Justin is allegedly a "bad" boyfriend.  Isn't this a good reason for Kamille to look for someone else?

It doesn't matter much whether Justin was a good or bad boyfriend.  The fact is that Kamille and Justin are currently in an ongoing relationship.

The accepted protocol is this:  You should officially break up with your current partner before getting into a new relationship. If you don't break up officially, then it is clearly cheating.  

If you're in the same situation as Kamille and Kenzo, what are some tips to help you get over an infatuation and avoid infidelity?

There are many tips I could give but I'll just give you 4:

  1. Make a firm decision to end infatuation or infidelity.
  2. Avoid the person as much as possible.  As long the person you obsess about is within range, temptation always abounds!  Keep in mind that saying, "Out of sight, out of mind."
  3. Distract yourself with enjoyable activities and the company of your friends.
  4. And here's the most important and effective tip of all:  Instead of obsessing on your crush, focus on the loving memories and feelings you have had with your current partner. According to research, it is true LOVE that can extinguish the high of an infatuation!    

So peepz, the lesson here is for you not to be enslaved by your passionate desires and raging hormones.  

Even if you truly have fallen "in love" with someone else other than your current partner, it can never be a licence to be unfaithful.   

Remember, not everyone you're in love with is meant to be for you! 

As for third parties, simple lang naman, huwag mong harutin ang dyowa ng iba!  

Friday, July 10, 2015

Andrea Brillantes on the Psychiatrist's Couch

I have no doubt that the poster above is well-intentioned. Ironically however, the poster has not only made netizens curious about the scandal, it's also teased them to google search for video links!  

The principle in operation here is that of "reverse psychology."  Especially for a "pasaway" culture like ours, the more a person is forbidden to do something, the more that person is going to do it.

For your benefit Andrea, allow me to share with you the following strategies that have helped my other clients who have also become victims of video scandals:

Strategies # 1,2, and 3: Deny, deny, and deny!!! Nothing squelches a media scandal more effectively than consistent denial.  Just laugh off the whole incident when media people interview you. 

Strategy # 4:  Trust your die-hard fans to defend you.  In fact, they're already doing it now by saying that the video is edited.  Or that it's a latina pornstar who looks just like you.  Or that it's really your older sister in the video (whatduh?!).

Strategy # 5:  Don't hide or disappear from the public eye.  Your absence will strengthen rumors about the scandal. Continue working on your current projects.   And with the publicity (or notoriety) that you got from the video scandal, wish for more projects to come!

Strategy # 6:  Don't fix a mistake with another mistake.  Bluntly put, DON'T injure or kill yourself!  I've counseled a good number of celebrities who have overcome the ordeal of their scandals and are currently living happy lives!

Strategy # 7:  Surround yourself with family members and friends who love you!   Instead of moping around feeling desperate, get emotional and social support from them.  

Strategy # 8:  If you're a spiritual type of person, then you might want to be a bit more prayerful.  Trust that He will see you through this mess!  

Strategy # 9:  Consider getting professional help through talk therapy.  At your young age, make sure that you don't carry the emotional baggage of this video scandal for life. 

Strategy # 10:  And lastly, improve your craft as an actress!  Proving to others that you have real acting talent will help people focus on your professional life rather than on your personal life.    

As for you folks who are really serious in helping Andrea, why not be proactive and request the administrators of websites that have posted the videos and photos to delete them?

Also, stop fanning the flames of controversy.  The less discussion there is about this scandal, the more quickly it's going to get extinguished!  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Suicide of Teen Actress Julia Buencamino

As a counselor for teenagers, I always feel bad when I hear about teens who died of suicide.  Teenage suicide is an agonizingly tragic event for the family members who are left behind not only with heavy emotions but with so many painful and unanswerable questions.  

In light of Julia Buencamino's death, let me share with you some tips on how you can help a suicidal friend or loved one:

Take the suicidal person seriously.  Many suicidal people are unsure about killing themselves.  When a person tells you that s/he is contemplating suicide, s/he may actually be crying out to you for help. 

Empathize with the suicidal person's distress. Be calm and listen to what s/he has to say.  Don't be judgmental or belittle his/her feelings.

Find out more about the person's suicidal tendencies.  Ask her/him the following questions:  Have you made specific plans on how to do it?  Have you ever attempted suicide in the past?  What problems do you have that make you think of killing yourself?  Do you hear "voices" that influence you to kill yourself?

Offer them reasons to go on living.  Offer them suggestions on how to cope with their problems. 

Don't leave the suicidal person alone.  If you have to leave, make sure that an able-bodied guy is with the suicidal person at all times. 

Never connive with the suicidal person to keep it a secret.  Inform her/his family members immediately.  Never mind if the suicidal person thinks that you betrayed her/him because by getting help for that person, you would have saved a life!

Get counseling for yourself.  You surely will need emotional detox after interacting with a suicidal person.

There is a mistaken notion that people who talk about killing themselves are not going to do it.  I wish that belief was true, but it isn't!  When people talk about killing or hurting themselves, they have to be taken seriously because they might actually do it.  Do not dismiss the suicidal threat and DO NOT CHALLENGE the suicidal person to commit suicide!

Suicide is a psychiatric emergency.  If you encounter someone who is suicidal or injuring himself/herself, make sure that the person gets psychiatric help IMMEDIATELY!

If you yourself are depressed and suicidal, I want to tell you this:  THERE IS HOPE!  Depression is very easy to treat, and THERE IS A SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM.

Help is available if you just ask for it.  Don't dilly-dally.  You can call 415-6529 or 415-7964 anytime to set an appointment.  I will be glad to help you!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Jiro Manio on the Psychiatrist’s Couch

There were two things I felt when I watched Jiro Manio on TV being interviewed at the NAIA. First, I felt quite saddened by how the media people jumped on the poor guy, mercilessly interrogating him despite knowing that he was mentally unstable. And second, being the shrink that I am, I was curious to know the actual psychiatric condition Jiro was suffering from. 

So far, what do we know about Jiro?

In the recent TV interviews, Jiro’s adoptive father, Andrew Manio, denied that Jiro had gone back to using shabu. He admitted though that Jiro had been bingeing on alcohol. 

In an article by Pilipino Star Ngayon, Andrew Manio narrated that before Jiro left for NAIA, he reprimanded Jiro for being unhygienic at the dining table since Jiro would serve himself rice using hands with long untrimmed fingernails. Jiro then reacted rudely towards Andrew, giving him a sharp staredown, with the attempt and threat to hit him. 

According to Andrew, Jiro was also depressed because he wanted to go to Japan and meet his biological Japanese father. Sadly however, Jiro got turned down and disowned by his “Mommy Lola” (i.e., his maternal grandmother) - the only person whom Jiro knew could help him connect with his dad. Nevertheless, despite being disowned, he irrationally headed off to NAIA believing that his “Mommy Lola” would fetch him and bring him to Japan.

At the airport, Jiro was spotted by many people to be shabbily dressed and tirelessly roaming around the area. Asked what he was doing , he replied that his walking was actually cleaning up the floor. People observed him to be speaking incoherently with quick shifts in topic.

So what’s wrong with Jiro?

Based on all the hear-say observations about Jiro, his symptoms could be enumerated as follows:

  • poor hygiene and unkempt appearance,
  • blunted facial expression,
  • rude and aggressive behavior, 
  • incoherent speech, 
  • inappropriate shifts in conversational topic,
  • illogical reasoning, and 
  • the mistaken belief (a delusion) that his Mommy Lola was going to fetch and fly him over to Japan. 

All these symptoms, if accurately reported, are indicative of Jiro’s loss of touch with reality, a conditon known as “psychosis.”

While the word “psychosis” sounds nasty, psychosis is simply explained as a dopamine imbalance in the brain. When the levels of dopamine get imbalanced, it results in psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, paranoia, or delusions. 

Theoretically, a dopamine imbalance can be treated with...guess what? A dopamine balancer!  Dopamine balancers are also known as anti-psychotic medication.  In fact, with the right dopamine balancer at the right dosage, Jiro should regain mental stability within 2-3 weeks.  Yes, recovery can be that quick!

What causes psychosis?

Three common causes of psychosis include:

  1. use of mind-altering substances such as alcohol, shabu, even weed; 
  2. psychological conditions such as stress and depression; 
  3. medical-neurologic conditions such as insomnia, etc. 

Clearly, Jiro was affected by causes #1 and 2.

Jiro’s past addiction to shabu might have destabilized his brain chemicals (particularly dopamine). So even if he didn’t use shabu again, alcoholic beverages would have done the same job as shabu in messing up his brain.

As for the psychological factors affecting Jiro, his young life is actually full of it

  • Being abandoned by his father, 
  • His mother’s untimely death to kidney cancer, 
  • Child labor as a child actor, 
  • The “child star syndrome” resulting from his skyrocket rise to fame, 
  • Being a teenage father to two sons, 
  • The frustration of wanting to meet his biological father, 
  • Being disowned by his grandmother, 
  • And so on and so forth! 

With all he’s been through, parang unlimited ang lalim ng paghuhugutan niya! Jiro’s young life is an undeniable series of heart-wrenching teleseryes! 

How can Jiro be helped?

People are quick to say that Jiro needs psychiatric treatment or drug rehabilitation or a job. But he doesn’t need JUST that! Psychiatric treatment, drug rehabilitation, and giving him a job are simplistic ways of helping him out.  What Jiro really needs is to confront, grapple with, and win victoriously over the demons lurking within his psyche. Beyond medication and rehab, what Jiro really needs is deep emotional, family, and spiritual healing. He’ll also need a trusted mentor or coach to guide him towards a new lease on life. 

With all the hurts he’s been through in his young life, he’s accumulated heavy emotional baggage too heavy to bear. Unless he empties himself of the load, he’s again going to numb himself through alcohol and drugs. 

At this time, there are well-meaning souls out there who have taken on the task of helping him. Given the chance later on, I would also like to help Jiro reinvent himself and redesign his life. 

Parting thoughts

Because of the NAIA incident, Jiro has now become a poster boy for the mentally-challenged.  

In truth, if it were just an ordinary person caught loitering around the airport, that person would probably have been shooed away or accosted by the security guards.

Knowing that the mentally-challenged do not have an easy life, I hope that we learn to extend compassionate understanding and help to people with psychiatric conditions, whether they have celebrity status or not!