Matet de Leon opens up on struggle of having bipolar disorder and queuing at PWD lane
Matet de Leon had a taste of the difficulty faced by those without visible signs of disability after she was forced to endure accusing looks when she lined up at a supermarket PWD (person with disability) lane recently.
On Instagram, de Leon bared her struggle as a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder whose symptoms are not easily recognized on sight.
“I have bipolar disorder. I’m a PWD. Hindi halata? Kaya pala pinag titinginan ako kanina sa isang supermarket. Kinalabit pa ako ng isang babaeng yayamanin at pinapalipat ng lane. Hiyang-hiya ako. Pati sa sarili ko. Pumila kasi ako sa PWD lane. Wala akong kasunod na senior o may visible disability kaya nag decide ako na doon na pumila. Kung saan ako dapat,” she said.
De Leon said having a mental health issue such as hers is difficult to bear because they are often judged by those whose knowledge about the illness is limited.
“Ang hirap ng kalagayan naming may mental health issues na hindi nakikita ng iba. Sanay sila na ang may mental illness, nagtutulo ng laway o nagsasalita mag isa. Sana sa lahat ng makakabasa nito, mag ingat. Guys, hindi madali ang malagay sa sitwasyon namin. Sana huwag nang pabigatin pa ng iba. Sana huwag nang paabutin pa sa kailangan na naming isabit sa leeg namin mga id namin. Kaloka,” she further said.
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The actress, however, said that some of those afflicted with bipolar disorder who can still bear a moment’s wait should allow the elderly and those who are truly struggling physically to be given service first.
“At sa mga kagaya ko na kaya naman magtiis ng sandali, paunahin ang matatanda at yung talagang makikita ninyong hirap nang pumila. Yun lang,” she said in parting.
Persons with “long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments” are considered PWD under Republic Act 10754, or the Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability (PWD). Thus, those with bipolar disorder, attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Down Syndrome, long-term recurring depression, schizophrenia are classified as PWD.
Under this law, PWDs are entitled to a 20-percent discount and value added tax exemptions in consumable items such as food, drinks, medicines, health services, transportation, and other services.