Entertainment

How Anjo puts up a good fight against depression, anxiety attacks

Anjo Damiles

It’s difficult to explain, [how it is to struggle with] mental health. It’s like it suddenly breaks you down into two,” young actor Anjo Damiles said on undergoing “depression and severe anxiety,” which he was diagnosed with in June last year.

“There was a point where I just snapped and lost it, honestly. I wasn’t in the right headspace. It was sad. I was crying, I was lost. And it was hard to find yourself again and be OK. It was difficult to stay on that path,” the 25-year-old Kapuso talent said in a recent virtual press conference.

The COVID-19 pandemic—and the manner in which it turned everyone’s life upside down—was something he had to learn to cope with.

“From being busy almost every day to suddenly doing nothing … it’s tough. And that’s something fellow Filipinos have experienced. We all lost something. People lost livelihood, home and food. We lost family [members] and friends. And some of those we can’t have back anymore. Nakikiramay ako sa mga nawalan at nawala,” he said.

Faith, medication

Anjo, who was last seen in the GMA 7 shows “First Yaya” and “Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko,” was prescribed medication to help ease his condition. His faith also carried him through.

“With the help of my psychiatrist and medicine, my mind was able to calm down. And I never not think about God. I think He also helped me. My family also helped. They all kept me sane. They gave me new ideas to keep my mind occupied,” he said.

While he’s off medications now, the bouts of depression and anxiety attacks can still kick in once in a while, he admitted. But the good thing is that there are various things and activities that keep him busy.

“I can’t predict when it will happen, but I keep myself occupied. My family is here and I talk to them. I pray. I play games,” said Anjo, who also runs a breakfast food business.

Keeping busy

“My business is doing great. I cook and we deliver food. Last year, when I was depressed, I turned to cooking. Overthinking can be exhausting and draining, so the best thing I can think of at the time was to cook and eat. I got curious. And I wanted to do it my way. Luckily, other people also liked what I came up with.”“It did help with my depression, but not so much with my weight,” he quipped, laughing.

For those who find themselves in a similar situation, Anjo said one may find solace from “looking up and praying.” “Always be thankful for what you have and what is given to you. It’s hard, but try to smile, even if what lies ahead is bleak. That’s something you can bring with you forever, no matter how hard or dark the path is. And God will be by your side to help you,” he said.

“You have to give yourself a good fight. Mahirap kalaban ang sarili,” Anjo added. INQ

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