A young woman has been locked in a cage for the last five years by her family who say they cannot afford proper treatment for her mental health condition.

Bebe, 29, was living with her family in the Philippines and working in a local shop while nursing dreams of becoming a professional model before she was diagnosed with psychotic depression in 2014. 

The condition meant she suffered from hallucinations and was admitted to a psychiatric unit at a hospital in the Negros Occidental province. 

Bebe gradually improved after a year of treatment and doctors were optimistic about her condition.

She was allowed to return home but things took a turn for the worst when her father became sick in 2015 and the family could no longer afford Bebe’s medical bills.

Without medicine, her depressive episodes and hallucinations returned.  

Glyzel Bullos, a family friend, said there were times when Bebe became so violent her family were forced to lock her up for her own safety. 

‘Sometimes Bebe would throw things at neighbours, or wander outside the house and start riding the bus,’ Glyzel, who is appealing for help for Bebe, recalled. 

‘There was one time her family was looking for her and found her a week later in Cebu province when the police contacted them,’ she said.

To prevent Bebe from wandering off, her family built a small cage for her inside the house. 

Dressed in rags, Bebe is passed food through the bars of her cell. 

‘She munches on her dress until they are tattered, so they dress her in sacks because she doesn’t like eating them,’ Glyzel explained.

‘They are locking her up so she won’t hurt herself, and not because they don’t love her’.

Video shows Bebe leaning against a wall inside her cage before she darts off, having noticed the camera. She stands in a corner of her cell with her back to the camera.

Later in the video, the young woman appears to be fiddling with the cell door and speaks quietly to the person filming her.

Glyzel is appealing for funds to send Bebe back to hospital for treatment. 

‘Medical services are expensive, especially a private mental institution,’ she said. 

‘I hope there are people who could help us bring Bebe back to her past self.’  

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