The 19-year-old daughter of New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio bravely opened up for her battles with substance abuse and depression in a new powerful video released by her father’s transition team.
In the four-minute clip, Chiara de Blasio admitted to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana to deal with clinical depression and anxiety.
“I’ve had depression, like clinical depression, for my entire adolescence,” she said. “It made it easier, the more I drank and did drugs, to share some common ground with people that I wouldn’t have. It didn’t start out as a huge thing for me but then it became a really huge thing for me.”
This was the first Chiara spoke about her personal struggles in the public eye. She said she decided to speak out “because people are suffering from this disease and dying from this disease every day. And we really can’t do anything as a society to help those people until we start talking about it,” she explained. “And nobody can do sobriety on their own.”
Her parents, Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray, shared their support in an email. “As parents, our instinct has been to protect our daughter and privately help her through a deeply personal struggle,” they wrote. “But not only has Chiara committed to her own health, she is also committed to helping young people everywhere who face similar challenges.”
In the video, Chiara urged other people dealing with similar issues to seek help as well. “It’s just important for people to realize, anybody who is watching this, that if you’re suffering and if you’re depressed, you’re dealing with mental illness, and you think that it might have something to do with your drug abuse or drinking, or if you’re just suffering from both of those at the same time and you think that they’re completely unrelated to one another,” she said, “getting sober is always a positive thing.”
She added that participating in her father’s campaign after finishing treatment “was like the greatest thing ever.” Check out the video for yourself below.
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