Chiara de Blasio Speaks Out on How Income Inequality Affects Young People Seeking Treatment for Depression.

Chiara de Blasio

Yesterday Chirlane McCray accepted an award from the HOPE for Depression Research Foundation on behalf of her daughter Chiara. Chiara received the award for her efforts in advocating for young people that suffer from depression. During the acceptance, her mother read a letter from Chiara, in which she addressed how income inequality affects young people who are suffering from depression,

When you’re a young person suffering from depression, it can be hard convincing yourself and others that these experiences aren’t just normal adolescent angst – that they are symptoms of a serious, and potentially deadly disease. And the last thing you want to do is call attention to struggles that may be perceived as weakness. So you fight through life, and although every second feels like a bloody battle, you learn how to fake a smile, and say “I’m fine” like you mean it. But of course that only makes it worse.

But I remind myself as much as possible – and I hope you will, too – that not everyone is so lucky. The bitter reality is that most people aren’t. Many people must try their hardest to jump over the towering hurdles of economic constraints, social stigma, lack of familial support – and most dangerously of all, a lack of hope. I was fortunate enough to find my solution. Many never make it that far.

Last year, Chiara spoke openly about her history with depression and drug abuse in a video posted to YouTube. She also penned an essay for XOJane about her past struggles.