In this exclusive interview, Benedict Cua shares his journey to recognizing his emotions and why he thinks it’s also important for men to speak up about their struggles
Men are often expected to be tough and strong, making it surprising for some when they openly express their emotions and vulnerabilities, when in fact, it is a perfectly normal thing for anyone to do. In this interview, we spoke with content creator Benedict Cua about his journey towards embracing his emotions and why he believes it’s also crucial for men to speak up about their personal struggles and pains.
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His own battle
For a moment, Benedict Cua took a break from creating content, and he opened up about his reasons in a vlog. In our conversation, he revealed that he’d always felt the weight of pressure since starting his content creation journey. However, at some point, it all became too much. He shared that he was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, a condition that leads to persistent feelings of sadness and disinterest.
Benedict shared that he initially brushed off his feelings, recognizing that everyone experiences sadness occasionally. But as time passed, he felt that something wasn’t quite right. He found himself experiencing unexplained moments of sadness and anxiety, which manifested physically as trembling and intense fear. Eventually, he realized that he was having panic attacks. At that point, he told himself that seeking support was the best step to take.
Support system strength
Benedict explained that during those difficult times, he was fortunate to have his family and some friends as a support system. However, he also emphasized the importance of recognizing that, at times, their presence may not be enough, which is completely normal. It’s essential to understand that the mere presence of loved ones isn’t always a solution, particularly if there are specific actions required to fully address the problem.
“Ang pagiging malakas, regardless kung babae ka or lalaki, it is admitting you need help. That amount of courage is what makes you strong.”
As someone who’s not part of Generation Z, the content creator honestly shared that growing up and being surrounded by people who didn’t fully grasp the concept of mental health made it incredibly challenging for him to open up and discuss his own emotions. “For some people, talking about depression or mental health is seen as a sign of weakness,” he explained. But Benedict recognized that he needed to challenge these unreasonable expectations and bravely admit to himself that he needed help. It may be difficult to acknowledge, but according to Benedict, it is a crucial first step in overcoming the issue.
His music’s meaning
As the saying goes, sometimes, words just can’t capture the depth of our emotions, but music has a way of getting right to the heart of the matter, and Benedict can certainly attest to that. He shared that when he first heard his upcoming song, it immediately struck a chord in his heart because its lyrics perfectly captured his own experiences. Through this, he hopes to uplift the spirits of those going through similar situations and remind them that they’re not alone.
“If you cannot take it anymore, if you need help, if you want someone to listen, you have to be able to admit that to yourself. Do not look at it as a weakness.”
According to Benedict, mental health should be treated by men with the same level of importance as work-related tasks. If you’re at work and you’re struggling to understand something or need help, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for assistance, and it should be the same when it comes to mental health. All too often, fear and pride get in the way of seeking the help we need. But as Benedict emphasizes, nothing will change if we let those emotions consume us.
The power of kindness
Benedict ended our conversation with two important things that he wants to see in our society regarding mental health. Firstly, he hopes that mental health assistance will be more accessible and affordable. He acknowledges that seeking help is already a challenge, and a financial burden should not add to that. As he puts it, “A tablet is already a meal.” Therefore, he hopes that subsidies and support will be offered to those who need them.
Secondly, Benedict wants to see more kindness in our society. While it may seem like a worn-out phrase, he shared the importance of constantly reminding ourselves that it is possible to encounter someone who appears content and happy, but they could be fighting personal and internal battles that are not visible on the surface. It is simple. Just because we don’t see it, it does not mean it does not exist.
Photos: BENEDICT CUA (via Instagram)