The holiday season is notorious for being a time of anxiety, depression, and an over-reliance on substances in order to get through various pressure-filled obligations. Of course, one of the hallmarks of depression and of excessive drinking or drug use is that those who suffer frequently feel alone, a feeling which frequently contributes to both depression and substance abuse. This is why it’s so important for people in the public eye who have struggled with these things to be open about it, thus destigmatizing these afflictions and encouraging those who suffer to get help.
Today, mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s daughter Chiara released a video in which she opens up about her struggle with depression, drinking and drugs. De Blasio shares that depression has long “been something that [she] always dealt with, or not known how to deal with. It made it easier the more [she] drank and did drugs to share some common ground with people [she] wouldn’t have. It didn’t start off as a huge deal…but then it became a huge deal.”
De Blasio starts off by disarmingly saying, “Every kid who grows up in New York grows up pretty fast…astonishing, right?” She’s relatable and her story is familiar, but also important because it is one that can’t get told enough. If just one person can benefit from hearing that even the daughter of New York’s next mayor has suffered from depression and substance abuse, then this video has served its purpose. Some news outlets are reporting this story by saying that de Blasio is “admitting” her struggles with depression and substance abuse, as if there was something of which she should be ashamed. And it is precisely because of that still-existent stigma that de Blasio’s video is so important. There should be no shame attached to a person who is suffering. We should all do our best to help anyone in need, during this season and every other.
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