mental health issues with Expats in the Philippines

Before anyone says “Matt’s writing about me” its nothing like that the post is actually based on something someone sent me today as a warning to people looking to move here.

First thing I will say is that things can go badly wrong for people here which is a big problem if someone does need medication and suffering with anxiety or even depression as I know from people with medical conditions (not here) that some of the medication they take daily can be quite heavy on the body and affect the ability to think properly. Moving to a country where your medication supply could be interrupted as well as most people being unaware of mental health issues can and does result in suicides here. Thing is I can’t see it registered anywhere as to the number of “foreigner” suicides in the country but I know of several over the last few years but the person who asked me to do this post spoke of 4 people they knew of on a forum.

In all honesty if your suffering with things like paranoia the Philippines would probably make things worse same with depression. The reason being is the developing a community is difficult for many here and on top of that things you try to do often run people down. Even throwing a helping hand can be a spit in the face a recent example of that was someone giving zero interest loans in his community (Which for me is madness) but for him when his wife told him not to do it as they won’t pay back and although people were saying its for school fees it was going on alcohol. People then started threatening him in the street and giving him death threats because the money stopped. Now if it was you how would that affect you? for all your good intentions your made to be the bad guy even though they used and abused you. Don’t need any wise cracks here btw about “serves him right” guy hadn’t been here long and he actually thought he was helping, now he’s moving to another area because he’s worried about him and his wife’s safety.

Thing is these sort of things happen all the time. Then the swindling to extort your money, the fake relationships the list goes on.. but one thing I will say for all the “expat communities out there” how many people look out for other expats? Because that’s one of the biggest problems but in all honesty the people I know who have helped others got ripped off by the people they helped so damned if you do and damned if you don’t in many cases.

2 comments for “mental health issues with Expats in the Philippines

  1. Christine077
    March 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    You make a good point Matt. If you are suffering from mental illness and need to take medications, regular reviews are necessary. Usually every 3 months if stable. Mental health care in the Philippines is limited. Bearing in mind that we have a high number of ex-military in the PI, availability of mental health care/PTSD therapy should be investigated.

    • Tropicalpenpals
      March 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm

      Big problem though is likely not only be the availability but quality of care. The Philippines has been in decline on its medical sectors ever since it started exporting its staff. This leaves a void that can’t be filled unless these people come back which means the treatment people get will not be anywhere near the quality people should be receiving. Odd thing is I am sure with most people with ex-military service being here under government cheques and mainly from the U.S. it probably would make sense for the U.S. to fly a doctor in every 3 months (i know i would) because if sectioned as “Fit” it would also cut off benefits which for the government would mean it being an insentive to do it at the same time can give good care.