Matet de Leon got a taste of the difficulties faced by people without visible signs of disability after recently having to endure accusatory stares while queuing in the disabled aisle of a supermarket.
On Instagram, de Leon opened up about her struggle as someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder whose symptoms aren’t easily recognizable on sight.
“I have bipolar disorder. I am a disabled person. Halata in Hindi? You have the option of finding a supermarket or supermarket. Kinalabit pa ako ng un babaeng yayamanin et pinapalipat ng lane. Hiyang-hiya ako. Pati sarili ko. Pumila kasi ako sa PWD lane. Wala akong kasunod na senior o can be a visible disability kaya nag decide ako na doon na pumila. Kung saan ako dapat,” she said.
De Leon said it’s difficult to endure a mental health issue like his because they are often judged by those with limited knowledge about the illness.
“The name Kalagayan may be linked to mental health issues in Hindi nakikita ng iba. Sanay sila na ang mai mental illness, nagtutulo ng laway o nagsasalita mag isa. You have all the makakabasa nito, but it’s true. Guys, hindi madali the malagay in the name of sitwasyon. Sana huwag nang pabigatin pa ng iba. You need a name to name your name and ID. Kaloka,” she added.
The actress, however, said that some people with bipolar disorder who can still stand a while of waiting should allow the elderly and those with real physical difficulties to receive services first.
“And there are people who like sandals, who have matatanda and yung talagang makikita ninyong hirap nang pumila. Yun lang,” she said by way of farewell.
Individuals with “long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments” are considered persons with disabilities under Republic Act 10754, or the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Expanding Benefits and Privileges Act. Thus, people suffering from bipolar disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Down syndrome, long-term recurrent depression, schizophrenia are classified as disabled people.
Under this law, persons with disabilities are entitled to a 20 percent reduction and exemptions from value added tax on consumable goods such as food, beverages, medicines, health services, transport and other services.
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