Colombian musician and singer-songwriter, Dylan Fuentes, released his most personal single to date with “DF“.
Dylan opens up about anxiety and depression he faced in the past year amidst the pandemic and lockdown. Watch the interview below.
This is by far one of Dylan’s most personal and moving songs to date, opening up about his internal struggles, that go beyond his fame and career.
In our interview for Latido Music by mitú, Dylan told us that he sees his anxiety not necessarily as an enemy, but as a friend that he has to learn how to live with.
Dylan stated in a press release that he wants to break the taboo that exists today on mental health, specially in our culture and the Latin music industry.
“My experience with anxiety made me alter my perspective on life for a moment, making me question how it had found its way to me. I was left with no reason to feel happiness about so many of the achievements and recognitions I was receiving at that time — I could only think about my fear and problems. The thought of ‘why me’ was never far from my mind. For me anxiety was like a monster, until I realized that it is only a monster if you allow it to be. When you know how to understand it and you know how to listen to your body, you realize that it comes into your life to tell you that something is not right. With ‘DF’ I wanted to tell my story, because I know that many of my fans suffer from the same thing.”
When Andrea Campos was eight years old, she began to express symptoms of depression. She began attending therapy sessions and reading self-help books to cope, but it wasn’t enough.
A self-taught coder, Campos began to develop a passion project that combined her two interests: mental health and programming. The result was Yana, a wellness app designed specifically to tackle negative thoughts linked to anxiety and depression.
Initially meant for personal use, Campos decided to make Yana accessible to anyone who could not access a specialist during the pandemic.
While Yana is not designed to substitute psychiatric treatment, Campos told mitú that the app functions like “an emotional diary.”
Users can engage with daily check-ins, specialized paths for self-esteem boosting, and a mental monitoring test that checks for symptoms of anxiety and depression every 14 days. In case of an emergency, Yana has resources to connect you to a mental health professional.
Structured to “explain how the mind works” using a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) framework, Yana seeks to make users aware of the normalcy behind every emotion thought.
“As long as you are aware that you have automatic thoughts all day every day, even if you do not realize it and that it impacts your emotions, it will be easier for you to manage your mental health,” she said.
While Campos hopes users gain comfort in recognizing and validating their emotional state, the stigma around mental health remains prevalent.
“When you approach people and ask questions about how they handle mental health or if they have problems with mental health, they tell you, ‘No! I’m perfect, I don’t have any of that,'” she explained.
When creating Yana, Campos learned that she needed to deviate from using the phrase “mental health” to attract users.
“Many times depression or anxiety is a cluster of managed emotions,” Campos explained. “So when [people] think of the word ‘Mental Health’ they automatically associate it with a disorder. They do not associate it with something that is handled every day.”
“The same way people understand the importance of exercising to prevent diseases or eating well, it’s important to have practices such as gratitude, awareness, and meditation that can also prevent diseases in the mind,” she said.
Avoiding the word association of “disorders, depression, or post-traumatic stress,” Campos focused on everyday issues such as insomnia, frustration, or even grief to identify problems at the source.
The lack of immediate treatment can be harmful. Prior to the pandemic, four-in-five people facing mental health concerns struggled to receive treatment in Mexico.
“In Latin America, we do not have the culture of prevention, we usually approach a doctor or a psychologist when we are already on the brink of catastrophe,” she said.
Education on mental health is the primary goal Campos hopes to tackle with Yana.
“When we are in kindergarten they teach us the alphabet, colors, but they don’t teach us the emotions,” she said.
While we are taught the basic emotions: happy, sad, angry, excited, Campos expressed the importance of teaching children how to understand their feelings instead of repressing them.
“My dream is to have a physical Yana robot in kindergarten classrooms where children who are punished, for example, can vent their emotions and can explain themselves instead of having to face the wall,” she said.
Yana, while focusing on the individual, is just the first step for Campos. Campos also wants to develop an app for one’s inner circle. Eventually, she hopes to expand the app to help children.
“The reality is that when we are sad we want to connect with our loved ones, not with strangers. We want to know that our parents, our friends, our partner love and value us, in good times and in bad,” she said.
To bring people closer to their network instead of a stranger, Campos hopes to create a conjoined app for Yana to accompany one’s inner circle in educating how to support that person.
The App Store featured Yana for Women’s History Month. You can download the app from the App Store here.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, text NAMI at 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counseloror visit email@example.com. In case of an emergency please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following contains references to drug addiction, disordered eating and sexual assault, and may be triggering for some readers.
The first two episodes of Demi Lovato’s much-anticipated docuseries, “Dancing With the Devil” dropped on Tuesday. So far, the series is holding nothing back when it comes to delving into Demi Lovato’s demons.
The show covers Lovato’s eating disorder, addiction struggles, and the aftermath of her near-fatal 2018 drug overdose. Here are some key takeaways from the first two episodes of “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil”.
So far, the series is an intimate look at what led up to, and the aftermath of, Demi Lovato’s 2018 overdose.
Thank you to everyone who has joined me on this journey, who has helped me share my story, and for those that are by my side today💕 #DemiDWTD
The first two episodes, entitled “Losing Control” and “5 Minutes From Death” illustrate the exact conditions that led Lovato to break sobriety and become sucked into a level of drug-use that she had never experienced before.
“Dancing With the Devil” features candid interviews with Demi’s friends and family who explained Demi’s state of mind leading up to the overdose. They also explained why they were all so blind-sided when they found out she was doing hard drugs.
According to Demi, her team controlled her for so long in order to “protect her”, that she felt that she had no freedom.
Breaking her sobriety was a way for Demi both to rebel and to regain some of her autonomy.
“My team has consisted of assistants, a wellness coach, a dietician, a nutritionist, therapists,” Demi revealed in “Dancing With the Devil”. “I’ve had all these people in and out of my life. I feel like decisions have been made for me more so than I’ve made decisions for myself.”
Lovato revealed that the breaking point for her was sometime in early 2018 when she was at a photoshoot.
“I remember being at the photoshoot and just thinking to myself, ‘I don’t even know why I’m sober anymore. I am so miserable. I’m not happy.'”
According to Lovato, she picked up a bottle of red wine that night and within 30 minutes, she called someone for drugs. From that point forward, she started doing hard drugs, including meth, molly, cocaine, weed, and OxyContin.
Her friends and family knew she was drinking again, but they didn’t know about the drug use. Within two weeks of breaking her alcohol sobriety, Demi quickly became dependent on both heroine and crack cocaine.
In “Dancing With the Devil”, Demi said that, for her, using heroine was recreational at first. But, she added, “you can’t really do that with heroine without becoming addicted to it.” In fact, Demi wrote “Sober” after she realized she was dependent on heroine.
On the night of July 24th, 2018, after hanging out with friends, Demi called her drug dealer over. He provided her with oxycodone laced with fentanyl.
no words. you’re so damn strong, i’m so glad u’re in a better place rn. wishing u all the best demi, we love u!! pic.twitter.com/jzNRKseJVZ
It was then that Lovato overdosed. “Dancing With the Devil” gives a graphic play-by-play of the harrowing morning her assistant, Jordan Jackson, found her in her bed, unconscious. Jackson called 911 and the paramedics arrived shortly after.
“Her whole body completely turned blue,” revealed Jackson. At one point, Jackson thought to herself: “She’s dead for sure.”
Paramedics rushed Demi to the hospital where multiple doctors worked on her to try and save her life. The friends who were just with her couldn’t understand what happened within the hours since they left her. She had completely hid her drug use from them.
“I was manipulating the people around me and making sure they never found out,” Demi admitted.
The health consequences of Lovato’s overdose were serious and far-reaching.
“I had 3 strokes. I had a heart attack. I suffered brain damage from the strokes. I can’t drive anymore. And I have blind spots in my vision…” she revealed. In addition, she had multiple organ failure and pneumonia because she asphyxiated.
“That night, I wasn’t injecting it, I was smoking it,” she explained. “Which is another reason why I was so shocked when I woke up in the hospital. Because I was like, ‘No, I’m not injecting it, I can’t overdose on it.’ At the end of the day, if you do too much of anything it’s going to kill you.”
In another shocking revelation, Demi shared that her drug dealer took sexual advantage of her while she was overdosing.
When she woke up in the hospital, healthcare workers asked her if she had had consensual sex with someone. Having hazy memories of someone being on top of her while she was high, Lovato said yes. But soon, she knew that wasn’t the case.
A month after her overdose, Demi realized that she “wasn’t in any state of mind to consent to anything.” “I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me,” she said.
Despite all this, Demi says that quarantine has given her the time and space to take a pause and focus on healing her trauma. “It’s interesting that it took me a quarantine to work on this trauma stuff. I’ve never really taken the time to dig deep and do the work.”
The next episode of “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” drops on March 30th.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction, disordered eating, or mental health, 1-800-662-HELP or visit samhsa.gov for additional support.