There has not been much talk about depression amongst Filipinos in Australia, until last month when a 34-year-old killed himself inside the family home in Plumpton NSW. Although it is now common knowledge among family friends, his name is being withheld to safeguard family privacy.
Before this particular case, there was widespread talk about the death of Filipino actor RJ Rosales who jumped from a not-so-tall building in Sydney. It happened some years ago. Another was the case of a white Australian who deliberately inhaled poisonous fumes of his car inside the garage. He was married to a Filipina.
One thing in common about all these suicide incidents is depression. Severe depression, otherwise known as clinical depression can lead to suicide.
Religious background helps but not in all instances. In the case of Jose (not his real name), the family is not wanting in religion. Family members attend religious services regularly and the children attended Catholic schools in the Philippines. Catholics have always been taught in church and in school that only God has the right to take away life.
In the past, church authorities refused to celebrate mass for people who committed suicide. Thankfully, such is no longer the case based on the belief that the person was not in his right mind when the act was committed. Ergo, he did not have full knowledge of the gravity of his act. Priests now say requiem mass for those who commit suicide in the same manner that the church now allows cremation in contrast with past prohibitions.
We must always keep in mind that for every problem, there is always a solution and that God would not allow such problem if He did not know that we are capable of overcoming it. No matter how dark the sky might be, there will always be a silver lining appearing in the horizon.
Strength of character varies in every person but every episode of depression makes us stronger.
I once told my children: “Don’t anyone of you ever commit suicide because if you do, I will kill you!” They all laughed. ??