Writer and Editor Miyo Sta. Maria Talks About His Mental Health Journey

I’m no stranger to psychotherapy. I’ve had sessions since 2012 on and off, some of which were great, others not so much. My primary focus was assessing and trying to understand certain moments in my life in order to be a better person. 


Admittedly, seeking professional help wasn’t the easiest decision. More often than not, people still view looking for help as a sign of a lack of mental fortitude or weakness. This is a huge misconception.  


Not knowing when or how to seek help for mental health can drastically affect how we interact with the world around us and how we view ourselves.  


I knew I needed help when I started to experience fits of rage and extreme sadness. There were just so many emotions that I couldn’t even begin to understand. It had begun to take a toll on the people I loved dearly and how I viewed the world.  


When I started, psychotherapy and counseling services weren’t as accessible as they are today. But I was lucky enough to find an affordable and very accommodating service. It helped me come to terms with my emotions which were deeply rooted in past traumas and experiences. Soon after, I became more stable and began healing relationships with myself, the people around me and my surroundings.  


But the thing about mental health is, it’s never a permanent fix. While the right prescription can help, the ideal treatment accompanies medicine with therapy, and even spiritual enrichment. There will always be times when we’ll need the help of someone professional and who can really understand and guide us through our thoughts and feelings. 


As the pandemic hit, I was one of many whose anxieties skyrocketed. My usual channels became harder to reach and the meds weren’t as effective anymore. I started searching for other options but there wasn’t a good fit. Not all psychiatric services are the same.  


Like any relationship, there must be a good amount of chemistry to feel safe enough to be vulnerable in sessions. For most of the other services I tried, I couldn’t open up as much as I wanted to.  


I tried meditation, yoga practices, and taking up different hobbies. It wouldn’t work. I was still anxious, restless, and irritable. Alcohol soon became a crutch. It wasn’t long before it started taking a toll again on my relationships. 

It wasn’t until my engagement was almost called off that I snapped out of my downward spiral. I knew I had to get help. I had to get better. 


A friend recommended EVA telemedicine which coincidentally had a new psychologist in their roster. I didn’t have much at that time and this was the most reasonably priced service among other mental health services. 


I messaged them and found them to be quite personable. While other services would immediately upsell their other packages, EVA took their time to understand my concern and setup the soonest appointment.  


I met Ms. Macy Sintos over a video call and just thought, “Ok, here we go again. I’ll have to recount every event in my life that brought me here.” But to my surprise, Ms. Macy was very accommodating and listened to anything I felt comfortable enough to share. She never pushed and respected my boundaries.  


For a first session, it was impressively productive. She was generous with her time and candid with her advice. I could feel this was something I wanted to continue.  


Unfortunately, wedding preparations took most of my time and I was stick to further appointments. But I can fairly say that I know where to go for further consultations.  


I’m quite happy with my experience with Ms. Macy and will definitely set another appointment.  

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