Mental health and expats often go hand in hand unfortunately.

Over the years I have found that many expats have things like bi-polar conditions and other problems that may over complicate their life in the Philippines.

It’s not a case of the fact that they can’t deal with their problems but a case of the people around them aren’t often aware of the issues and problems that develop when not discovered.

Alcoholism is a major problem with the expat community and often leads to or part of a problem of depression. This coupled with people being bored out of their minds in a remote location often away from people from their own countries. Alcohol dependency is something that easy to see on the surface if you take the time to see it. Big problem though is getting someone with the problem to admit there is one. Drinking from 10am until the late evening day after day has seen many an expat meet their demise.

The same goes for those dependent on pills to contain mental health problems and I believe a cyber stalker Evan Iliadis is one of these types of people. The problem with being reliant on medication coupled with an environment that offers up difficult things to handle such as the poverty and cheap cost of life aren’t things those with mental issues should ideally be dealing with. It’s likely to make conditions worse not better.

So why bring it up? I have seen people arrive here with a postcard version of the Philippines and in holiday mode for the first few months while they whittle through their cash and commit to living here. But its at the crucial stage of realising that it’s not all rosy in paradise that things start to fall apart. Even for those without any mental conditions can find this transition difficult. But couple that with a change of diet, climate, language, culture and many other things it can be a recipe for disaster. Especially those who haven’t travelled outside their home country before. This is part of the big problem of information online where the “paradise” dream is often sold yet the realities are that it’s not as cut and dry as people often think. Also because one person can make a life here doesn’t mean everyone can.

I have met people from all walks of life here and they live with different budgets,expectations and desires. The long-term people generally come from business backgrounds and often own companies on and offshore. For many they would expect the same lifestyle they have but in reality it’s because they are business people that they have the standard of living they do with the financial rewards that come with it. For the average expats it’s a life of modesty where enjoying the sunshine, love of a good woman and often a cheaper cost of living than they had before is the reward for moving here.

But with it they have often visited multiple times, understood the problems that go on here and made a few mistakes. I have met  many an expat who have lost a lot here including their wife or partner.

It’s not a life of misery either by the way you just need to enter the Philippines with your eyes wide open and take your time to adapt. If you can’t adapt best to head home.