Gab Valenciano to those battling depression amid COVID-19: ‘You’re not alone, friends’
Musician-actor and mental health advocate Gab Valenciano talked about what it is like to deal with depression during the COVID-19 crisis, in the hopes of reaching out to those who are going through the same ordeal.
Valenciano stressed that those who have depression “are not alone in this fight,” as seen on his Instagram page yesterday, June 9. He highlighted the importance of surrounding oneself with “the right people” and consciously making an effort to “be better.”
Valenciano, who has been vocal about being diagnosed with clinical depression among other mental health concerns, described how depression affects an individual.
“It can easily be mistaken as severe sadness. When in reality, it really isn’t,” he explained. “It is defined as a severe feeling of despondency and dejection.”
Despondency, as pointed out by Valenciano, is a “loss of hope or courage,” while dejection is “a state of gloom, disappointment and low spirits.”
“[Combine] the two and multiply it by ten, that is depression,” he said.
Valenciano explained that people with depression have different types of “triggers.” Some are triggered by past events, current affairs, the uncertainty of the future or traumatic memories. He added, “But then, sometimes, there is no trigger.”
Despite the challenges that depression might bring, Valenciano stressed that what counts is what an individual does after identifying the mental health issue.
“[Depression] and your state of mind will never define you,” Valenciano said. “It can affect you, it can impact you, but never define who you are in this world.”
Valenciano admitted that he still had moments when he would isolate himself from time to time, but after a few days of “recharging” he would always “choose to be better the next time around.”
“You are not alone in this fight, my dearest friends,” he said. “The road is dark, the way is unclear, but your heart is beating which means you’re meant to be here.”
The actor also chose to view this challenging period as “an opportunity for us to understand each other more. To empathize and help one another.” He acknowledged that the road to healing is not easy, but that “baby steps are still steps.”
“Keep stepping towards the light at the end of the tunnel and one day, you, we, slowly but surely, will get there,” said Valenciano. “Believe this and you will win.” JB
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