What is smiling depression? Smiling depression is a coping mechanism that tends to be passed down due to acculturative stress or generational trauma. One of the main causes for acculturative stress or generational trauma would be colonization. When the Philippines was colonized by Spaniards they took control of the nation, changing the lifestyles of many Filipinx's causing them to lose touch of who they once were and allowing themselves to become whitewashed. Both figuratively and literally. Ever since then, the old and natural way of living has changed into this whitewashed culture that has come from those that have colonized us. We lost our identities and were forced into new ones that do not even belong to us. Not only are we suffering from not knowing what our cultural identity is, but we were even abused and treated poorly by the Spaniards. As if taking over was not enough they had felt the need to dehumanize us as well thus causing generational trauma. As a result of this depression became more prominent, although unacceptable and since it was unacceptable individuals have ended up hiding their symptoms by smiling more and acting as if everything is okay when in reality they are dying inside and that, is what you call smiling depression.
Mental health is common among many people in America. Especially among the Filipino American population. In some studies, it has been found that depression is likely higher in the Filipino American population than in the general American population. Also, studies have found that suicide ideation is higher in the Filipino American youth population, particularly Filipina adolescent girls. In addtion, some studies have found that substance abuse is more prevalent in Filipino American communities, suggesting that substance abuse disorders are prevalent as well.
We also talked about the stressors in relation to history and culture. This includes generational trauma, family pressures, and faulty coping mechanisms.
With generational trauma, this trauma is continuously passed down to each generation. As a result, this internally messes with their mental health as they have to continuously carry the weight and burden from the generations before them.
With family pressures, parents and elders give their children the pressures of being successful and always having to make the family proud. So this provides a lot of stress to the person as they develop the mentality that they are not good enough and feel obligated to fulfill what their family wants instead of what they want.
With faulty coping mechanisms, many Filipinos don't acknowledge their mental health and the stress that they have. They stay silent and act as if everything is fine when it actually isn't, because the stress may be seen as a sign of weakness which ties in with family pressures as they might see you as not as successful as they want you to be.
All these historical-cultural related stressors correlate with one another, building up in Filipina/os, thus affecting their mental health. -Mariah
Growing up I was told about how mental health issues meant that I was crazy or that something was my fault. And for the most part, I thought to only blame myself for what was going on with my body. For many of the young females and males in the filipinx community and it really shows how much it affects the develop of adolescence.
I myself have never really thought to abuse drugs because of the way I was brought up. My morals told me it wasn't right to do drugs, and I made sure I surrounded myself with a diverse group of people who didn't force whatever they did upon me if I didn't wish to take part of. But I don't think this is the same for everyone else in that case in all honesty. For example a adolescence, may not want it resolve their mental health issues from stigma from their parents, and they end up turning to drugs for a short term solution, that ends up creating trauma overtime, therefore worsening the mental health as a result.
A lot of the times, the reason why in American culture why there could be a stigma for people seeking help from mental health services is because of media portraying counselors or therapists to be manipulating and trying to get with their patients half of the time. My parents personally think that if it does not work out that it would be a waste of money and that it should be best handled by ourselves.
As for myself
The first activity of class Wednesday, April 3rd. Was to answer these four questions..