Beauty queen Kylie Verzosa on dealing with depression and why seeking professional help is important
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Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa has been championing mental health largely due to her personal experience dealing with issues related to it.
She has admitted to suffering from depression prior to joining the Binibining Pilipinas pageant.
The 25-year-old said she had been “doing well in my career, when I was modeling before.”
Then, “it just hit me, and I didn’t understand what I was going through,” she told the Philippine Entertainment Portal during her signing to Viva Artists Agency.
“I had no will to live anymore. Very dark, very dark yung life ko,” she shared, even if she kept appearing “everything was going okay.”
“But deep inside parang I didn’t wanna be here.”
She shared that her parents were able to guide her through it as one of them had a similar experience.
“I decided to go through it naturally, but the best way is to always ask for professional help,” she said, noting that others take medication as well.
“Minsan kasi we just really need someone to talk to, to give us professional advice. So that’s where the psychiatrist or therapist comes in, and then, taking the proper steps to heal.”
According to the US National Institute of Mental Health, depression is a serious mood disorder with symptoms such as persistent sadness or anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, and in extreme cases, thoughts of suicide.
Depression can be treated with medication and psychotherapy, or a combination of both. A health professional can guide individuals through the treatments as there is no one-size-fits-all “cure” for mental illness.
For Verzosa, a change in lifestyle was also necessary to improve her mental health. “A lot of it comes from your lifestyle, how you deal with things emotionally, psychologically, physically.”
Changes included the following: “Have positive social connections, read more, educate myself about it, changed my diet, I slept more, took care of myself more.”
She recovered in six to seven months, but noticed, “‘Why is no one talking about this? How come I suffered so much in silence?’”
Verzosa campaigned for mental health as a beauty queen and has since formed an online support group, Mental Health Matters, as an avenue to raise awareness of mental health.
The page shares posts on mental health information, such as breaking myths on medication and ways of dealing with mental illness. Niña V. Guno /ra
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