MANILA – Gab Valenciano took to social media to open up about his mental health in an attempt to reach out to other people who are in the same situation.
On Instagram, Valenciano discussed at length what depression is and how it can easily be mistaken by some people as severe sadness.
“In reality, it really isn’t. It’s far from it. It can simply be described in one phrase: a dead end. It is defined as a severe feeling of despondency and dejection. Despondency is defined as loss of hope or courage. Dejection is defined as a state of gloom, disappointment and low spirits. Now combine the two and multiply it by ten, that is depression,” he began.
Valenciano said it is that feeling where nothing makes sense and you’re left paralyzed physically, emotionally and mentally.
“It hits, it impacts and is triggered differently with different people. Some are triggered by the past, by current events that trigger the past, by events happening right now, by an uncertain future or by painful and traumatic memories that linger. But then sometimes, there is no trigger,” he said.
Being clinically depressed himself, Valenciano shared the part that he hates the most.
“When everything seems to be fine, then you wake up the next day feeling absolutely worthless, blind and unable to see beyond the next day,” he said.
While acknowledging that it can get exhausting, Valenciano stressed that “depression and your state of mind will never define you.”
“[Depression] can affect you, it can impact you, but never define who you are in this world. It is what you do after the fact that points you to the right, or wrong direction. The choice is up to you,” he said.
In his case, Valenciano said what he normally does is he isolates himself and shuts the world out which he calls his “regrouping or recharging” time.
“But after a few days I make a decision to always surround myself with the right people, and consciously make an effort to choose to be better next time around,” he said.
Addressing those who are struggling to make sense of it all at the moment, Valenciano emphasized that they are not alone in this battle.
“The road is dark, the way is unclear, but your heart is beating which means you’re meant to be here. Who you are will always be enough and I genuinely believe that this is an avenue and opportunity for us to understand each other more. To empathize and help one another.
“Because sometimes all we need is someone who may not necessarily understand what it’s like, but understands what it means to genuinely and unconditionally be there for you,” he said.
Valenciano also shared a piece of advice to those who know people who are going through something right now.
“Listen in silence and be present. This means more to people like me than many think, it goes a long way even,” he said.
And despite his current predicament, Valenciano said he is blessed to have beautiful people in his life.
To end his post, he said: “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. Believe this and you will win.”