MANILA – Newly crowned Miss International Kylie Verzosa has chosen mental health as her advocacy.
Verzosa said mental health issues are close to her heart, admitting that she once suffered from depression.
“I have a lot of family members going through some mental issues like depression [and] bipolar [disorder]. I’ve been through it myself. I do want to bring the message out there because there is a stigma toward depression and mental illness,” she said in an interview on GMA’s “News to Go” on Wednesday.
Verzosa revealed that her depression lasted for six to seven months, and was brought to a psychiatrist at some point.
She said she eventually recovered “naturally,” citing a change in lifestyle.
“I didn’t know what I was going through so I was brought to a psychiatrist,” she recalled. “When you’re at that stage, dini-deny mo pa, eh (you tend to deny it). So it was a very difficult situation.”
“I’m out to say that it’s okay, don’t worry. But the first step is to be aware that you have it.”
Meanwhile, Verzosa also stressed the importance of tracing the mental roots of addiction in relation to the government’s relentless war on drugs.
“I think you have to see addiction as a coping mechanism. It starts from somewhere,” she noted. “A lot of depressed people turn to… When they’re down, they look for something to become happy again. They turn to drugs. That’s when the addiction starts… It’s a vicious cycle.”
She continued: “It (drug addiction) is something mental, it’s something that can be cured as well. It’s something that the Philippines can focus on, they do forget the mental aspect of it.”