Miss International 2016 Kylie Versoza reveals how she survived depression

IMAGE Noel Orsal

Miss International 2016 Kylie Versoza on overcoming depression: "The best way is to always ask for professional help."


Kylie Versoza has admitted she suffered from depression before she took home the Miss International title in 2016.

She recalled, a year before she joined her first Binibining Pilipinas pageant, "I was going through a lot of things...

"Ayun, it just hit me, and I didn't understand what I was going through.

"Luckily enough, my mom and my father sensed it.

"And they knew about it because one of them went through it.

"I was very lucky na I had a good support system.

"And going through it, it took six to seven months."

Kylie described that phase. 

"So medyo aloof ako sa friends ko.

"I didn't know what I was going through and I felt lost.

"And parang I had no will to live anymore.

"Very dark, very dark yung life ko.

"Na everything was going okay, but deep inside parang I didn't wanna be here.

"Even though I was doing well in my career, when I was modelling before."

According to Kylie, her bout with depression was the main reason why she chose the issue as her advocacy.

PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) learned more about her advocacy in an interview during her contract signing with VIVA Artist Agency last Friday, December 15.

To overcome this mental illness, Kylie said she had to "have positive social connections, read more, educate myself about it, changed my diet, I slept more, took care of myself more."

The 25-year-old beauty queen and model said there are many ways to survive depression.

And the most important is to seek professional help, "It depends sa sarili mo.

"There's the Western way, which is going through medication.

"I decided to go through it naturally, but the best way is to always ask for professional help."

She said part of her advocacy is to remove the stigma of going to a psychiatrist.

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"Minsan kasi we just really need someone to talk to, to give us professional advice.

"So that's where the psychiatrist or therapist comes in, and then, taking the proper steps to heal.

"By medication or just by natural way, which is distancing from the people that are bad for you."

She also stressed the importance of the right diet, and exercise in the healing process.

"A lot of it comes from your lifestyle, how you deal with things emotionally, psychologically, physically."

She told PEP.ph, "After going through it, six to seven months, parang pa-wala na siya.

"And I realized, 'Why is no one talking about this? How come I suffered so much in silence?'

"Bakit hindi ito alam ng ibang tao? What if other people are going through it?

"So joining Binibini, they asked me what I want to talk about and sabi ko, mental health.

"And they said, 'Why? It's such a sad advocacy? Why did you want to talk about it?

"'It's sad, it's not something people talk about...'

"But I still went on to talk about it and even on the second time I joined Binibini, I still decided to talk about it.

"There were some hurdlest, especially after winning Miss International.

"I still spoke about it and I didn't know na it will be such a big thing and a lot of people would relate din."

Kylie is continuing her advocacy of spreading awareness about depression through her online support group called Mental Health Matters.

She is also an ambassador for the mental health campaign of the World Health Organization called Let's Talk.

It follows she strongly supports the Mental Health Bill that was pushed by Senator Risa Hontiveros, and passed by both the Senate and House.

Kylie is hopeful, "It will give more importance on mental health treatments in the Philippines, not only in the city level but also in the barangay level."

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