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On Thursday, October 5, Joey de Leon drew flak from social media netizens after giving an insensitive remark about depression during Eat Bulaga’s “Juan for All, All for Juan” segment.

The “Sugod Bahay” winner named Maria Cristina shared that her mother suffered from depression that caused her to suffer memory loss. The TV host and comedian then stated that depression is merely “gawa-gawa lang.”

Here’s the full transcription of the conversation between the hosts and Maria Cristina:

Jose: Ano’ng sakit ni nanay?
Maria Cristina: Depression po.
Jose: Bakit? Iyang bang depression nakukuha ba iyan dahil depressed ka, ganun ba iyon?
Maria Cristina: Ang sabi lang po nung doktor, depression tapos yung katandaan ‘cause makakalimutin na po.
Joey: ‘Yung depression, gawa-gawa lang ng mga tao iyan. Gawa nila sa sarili nila.
Maine: Hindi biro yang depression.
Joey: Aba, aba bakit?
Maine: Hindi siya joke. Hindi kasi maraming nakakaranas ng ganun lalo na sa mga kabataan. Kaya pag may nakakaranas ng ganun, kailangan natin bigyan natin ng suporta.
Joey: Hindi, huwag ninyong suportahan. Gawa gawa lang niya yun. Pabayaan niyo.

De Leon apologized for his comment during the “Juan for All, All for Juan” segment on Friday. He admitted that was wrong and added that his family told him that stress is different from depression.

Depression is real and it should be taken seriously. It’s so sad that some of us do not realize that depression is not a choice and it is not made up by people.

Every person with depression goes through it differently, but there are truths that can help everyone to have a better understanding of the mental health condition. Here are few things everyone should know about depression:

1. Depression looks different for different people. 

In an interview with ForbesJustin Lioi, LCSW, who specializes in men’s counseling said that “depression can often be masked with anger, or irritability. Having depression, which is in a sense deep, deep sadness, doesn’t sit well with many people, particularly men. It seems ‘weak,’ but being irritable is a curmudgeonly, if annoying, forgivable and stronger personality trait.”

2. It could be genetic. 

Scientists discovered that there are approximately 15 genes in our chemical makeup that could be involved with depression. A study published in Nature Genetics, “involved an analysis of genetic variations of 75,607 people of European ancestry who self-reported having depression and 231,747 healthy controls.”

3. It can affect people’s work. 

Depression could affect a person to function at work, at school and even in the family. According to Michigan Medicine’s Depression Center, “depression costs employers over $44 billion annually in lost productivity, 81% due to poorer on-the-job performance” in the United States. Yearly, employers lose 27 work days per worker with depression, two-thirds of which is due to “presenteeism” (workers are present but less productive). 

4. It is a common illness. 

More than 300 million people worldwide are affected by depression. It is different from the usual mood shift and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition.

5. Depression may lead to suicide. 

At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Senator Joel Villanueva cited a report from the National Poison Management and Control Center of the Philippine General Hospital which reflected that 46% of reported suicide cases recorded from 2010 onwards was from the youth.

Illustration by Madel Crudo

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