Editor’s Note: In our candid interview with James and Pat and Dave star Donny Pangilinan, we ask him whether he’s gone through any serious mental health problems. While the 22-year-old admits he hasn’t had anything of the clinical sort, like everyone else, he’s had difficulties—all of which he coped with thanks to the right support groups. This is his story and words for those going through a hard time.
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My childhood was fun and normal. I’d play all the games you could imagine—from bente uno to agawan base. I don’t remember having that many struggles. When you’re a child, you’re stress-free. You don’t think about work or sleep. Assignments can be a problem, but even those are minimal. It’s funny how when you’re a young, you want to grow up right away. Now there are so many days I just want to go back to being a kid.
Perhaps my biggest struggle was shyness. Growing up, I was an introvert and there were times I didn’t like being in big crowds unless I really knew the people. I’ve slowly learned to come out of my shell. I’m more outgoing and extroverted now, especially in this business where you can’t be shy. When I first started in the industry, I didn’t know what to expect. There was so much pressure and so many questions. I was unsure of what the future would hold.
Luckily, I don’t think I’ve ever reached that stage in my life where I was extremely depressed. There have been times I’d get anxiety from feeling like too many problems were being stacked up. When a lot of things aren’t going my way, that’s when I start getting stressed. There are also times where I feel disoriented because I'm juggling a lot. But that's about it.
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This is why it's important to have a group of people you can rely on. My friends, my parents, and my extended family help me go through these struggles. My family, in particular, never makes me feel any different. I love how they tell me the truth whether or not it hurts. They tell me if I'm acting differently if there’s something I did that was unnecessary. I learn from them and I’d do the same for them. If they need help, I need to be there for them as much as possible.
A lot of close people in my life, including my friends, struggle with depression and mental health issues. It’s real and it exists, especially in this generation because you see it more than ever on social media. It’s such a tough issue, but my advice to them is to talk about it. We can’t hide it nor should it be something to be ashamed of. If you’re open and honest, people will feel you. They’ll actually want what is best for you, to talk to you, and offer words of wisdom.
People keep things to themselves. I think that when you don’t talk about it, that’s when the problem gets worse. I truly believe that if you have a group you can share your problems with and get advice from, it will help tremendously. I pray for everyone going through it.
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Photographs taken from Donny Pangilinan's official Instagram