Pam Pastor grew up in the newsroom of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
She was 17 when she started writing for the newspaper and has written so many articles (thousands, quite possibly) that her grandmothers have given up on trying to clip and save them all.
She has been the paper’s chief of youth correspondents, a reporter for Lifestyle, Libre features editor, 2bU editor and is currently the editor of the pop culture section Super. She is also one of the editors of the books Young Blood 4 and 5.
In December 2015, Pam was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety disorder. Despite the initial surprise and the big changes brought on by her condition, she continues to live and work as passionately as ever.
Pam is the Shrinking Ninja, a ninja who goes to a shrink (an awesome one) regularly. Ninjas are known to fight covertly and combat stealthily and for a few months, that’s what Pam did—fight her battle against mental illness quietly. But this ninja is done being silent. Because Pam thinks people need to talk about mental health.
The World Health Organization estimates that 350 million people around the world are suffering from depression. Less than half of these people receive the treatment they need. In many countries (and Pam is pretty sure in the Philippines), fewer than 10% are treated.
Pam’s Aunt Marie, who is a clinical psychologist based in Seattle, says that in the US, an estimated 30% of adults will have a major depressive episode in their lifetime.
The worst cases of depression can lead to suicide. Suicide continues to be the leading cause of death in 15 to 29-year-olds. Pam thinks this is a preventable tragedy.
Pam started this blog so she can write about depression. Anxiety. Medication. Going to a psychiatrist. Changes. Fears. Hopes. Dreams. The serious stuff. But also the fun stuff. Funny stuff. Tattoos. Music. Books. Food. Travel. Shopping. Shoes. Adventures. The wonderful people around her. (And sometimes the stupid and hilarious things they do.)
Pam wants to be open about her condition so people can see that it is possible to live a happy and productive life while dealing with depression. That mental illness is an illness just like any other. That those who are going through it are not alone. That there are many ways to deal with it. That it is important to seek help. That there is no shame in it.
The Shrinking Ninja is her first step in trying to destigmatize mental illness.
Pam hopes that by speaking up, more people will be brave enough to get the help they need.
Pam is also tired of writing about herself in the third person.
So okay, this is me. Let’s talk. About everything. Ready?