This post is in response to the alleged suicide of Luis Madamba, an 18-year-old high school senior in the British School Manila in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. News articles report that his teacher allegedly humiliated him in front of the whole class for allegedly plagiarizing the first draft of his paper. He allegedly jumped from the controversial Makati carpark building.
"Hi all! I agree with all your comments. I hope for better mental health support for students, especially in highly competitive schools such as Pisay.
I was never humiliated in high school and college but I was still depressed in Pisay, UP, and Georgetown. So my situation is different from Luis Madamba. I hope schools can stop being institutions of terror.
I never sought medical help because my mother has always said that having depression is a weakness and can be simply overcome by one's will. Now I realize that's inaccurate. Depression, like addiction and other mental illnesses, can require medical help.
My depression was so bad that I even researched suicide methods that could appear as accidents. The only thing that prevented me from killing myself is the thought that a suicide would bring shame to my family.
What helped me recover from my depression is the idea that every life has a purpose. My family members accept and love me, and they have said that I don't need to graduate. I can fail in school, but it's all right as long as I learn. I eventually finished college and law school.
I just have to live my life as truthfully, honorably, and excellently as I can. I do have to face the consequences of my actions, but that's just right.
We have been taught in Pisay that with great power comes great responsibility. With great responsibility also comes a greater likelihood of depression. I hope my long story can help other students and alumni who may be depressed or who know people who suffer from it. Life gets better. :)"