Actress Nadine Lustre: I have struggled with depression

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 13) — Following a series of Instagram stories, featuring a symbolic semicolon with the hashtag #KeepGoing and another one saying "You are stronger than depression," and the recent death of her younger brother, actress Nadine Lustre opened up about her personal struggles as well.

"It may come as a surprise to you but I have struggled with depression way back and still am to this day," she said in an Instagram post late Thursday. Her post showed a photo of 31 long-stemmed red roses against a gray background.

It may come as a surprise to you but I have struggled with depression way back and still am to this day. I have days where Im just sitting in the tub, asking myself a lot of questions, confused.. I felt like I was just looking in someone else's life through a window. Feeling bad cuz I am not enough and everything that I do and will do will never be enough. Its not easy. I have days when I have to put a mask on, smiling, numbing myself from negative emotions, too often I have already mastered the art of hiding it, I bet, you never even noticed it. Im thankful that Im blessed to have a strong heart and clear mind. Family who will always be my strength. Friends who will always pull me up. Love who will always guide me. if you ever hit rock bottom, dont be ashamed of opening up to your loved ones. if anyone understands and cares about what you're going through, its them. You are who/what you say you are. If you think you're weak, you will be weak. If you tell yourself you are not worthy, you will be unworthy. But, if you say you're strong, you will be strong and If you tell yourself you can do it, you can do anything. The ONLY validation that you will ever need is one from yourself. If you're HEARTBROKEN, cry it out, okay.. and then STOP. Pick yourself up and dust it off. He/She ain't the last person on earth. Trust me when I tell you that you will find someone else... meant for you and who will better you. I didn't believe that before either, but here I am now. DONT EVEN think about hurting yourself or taking your life just because you want the pain and sadness to stop. ITS OKAY to be sad. ITS OKAY to feel pain. ITS OKAY to be vulnerable. We are made to have emotions. Dont be afraid to let it out. Before you do something you will regret, think about all the great things that you can do in the future, people you will meet and places you travel to, the lives you will touch. I almost did it before and Im so thankful that I didn't do it, because If I did, I wouldn't be living the life that I have now. Stay with us because life is beautiful. #KeepGoing ;

A post shared by Nadine Lustre (@nadine) on

"I have days when I have to put a mask on, smiling, numbing myself from negative emotions, too often I have already mastered the art of hiding it, I bet, you never even noticed it," the 23-year-old actress said.

She encouraged readers to open up to their loved ones if they hit rock bottom, saying they are the ones who will understand and care.

Depression is a clinically diagnosed mental illness which affects at least 300 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

Some symptoms of depressive disorder, as listed by the Department of Health, are excessive guilt or feelings of worthlessness; diminished ability to concentrate, or indecisiveness; significant weight loss or weight gain; lack of sleep or oversleep; fatigue or loss of energy; psychomotor agitation and slowness; and recurrent thoughts of deaths or suicide.

"DON'T EVEN think about hurting yourself or taking your life just because you want the pain and sadness to stop," Lustre added in the post.

Lustre said she almost hurt herself before, but she's thankful that she didn't.

"If I did, I wouldn't be living the life that I have now. Stay with us because life is beautiful," the actress said.

Earlier this week, police confirmed that Lustre's 16-year-old brother, Isaiah, died of suicide.

READ: Actress's 16-year-old brother dies by suicide: police

Lustre gave a birthday message to Isaiah on another Instagram post she shared Friday morning: "I wish you stayed with us longer."

 

The actress thanked her brother "for teaching everyone a very important lesson."

"Thank you for opening my eyes and making me braver. I know now that whatever challenge I will have to face, I will be able to pull through because of you." she said.

Dealing with depression

In an interview with CNN Philippines, World Health Organization mental health advocate Antoinette Taus recommended looking into activities by the Youth Coalition for Mental Health, a community which hosts regular activities.

Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa also shared her Facebook page, 'Mental Health Matters by Kylie Verzosa,' which she put up to "reach out" to others. She also put up a Facebook group where people could share their experiences.

READ: Support groups 'a start' for those with mental health issues – advocates

The topic of depression and mental health gained the spotlight early October because of comments made by noontime variety show "Eat Bulaga" host Joey de Leon about a game contestant who admitted that she lived with depression.

READ: Comedian Joey de Leon apologizes for depression remark

He eventually apologized for his words.

"Nagkamali po ako," De Leon said. "Hindi ko alam na ganun kalawak at kalalim pala 'yun. Akala ko stress 'yun. So uli, humihingi po ako ng kapatawaran sa mga nasaktan, nagalit."

Close to 800,000 people die of suicide every year worldwide, said the World Health Organization.

If you or someone you know is depressed and expresses thoughts of suicide, know that help is available. Call the hotline, HOPELINE, at (02) 804 4673, (0917) 558-4673 or 2919 toll free for Globe and TM subscribers.

CNN Philippines' Digital Producers VJ Bacungan and Yvette Morales and Multi-Platform Writer Regine Cabato contributed to this story.