Things That Matter

Gloria Estefan Reveals She Contemplated Suicide In Her Teens In Episode of ‘Red Table Talk: The Estefans’

Photo: Lars Niki/Getty Images

In an emotional “Red Table Talk: The Estefans” episode, Gloria Estefan opened up about a particularly dark time in her life.

In the special episode dedicated to mental health, Estefan revealed to her daughter, Emily and her niece, Lili, that she once contemplated suicide as a teenager.

“I’ve always felt very good in my own skin, except when I was fifteen, and my dad had already spent a year at home and I was taking care of him. And he was heading downhill fast,” she explained on RTT.

Photo: Red Table Talk: The Estefans/ Facebook Watch

Estefan went on to describe how her mental health crisis was largely due to her father’s declining emotional state and physical health after he returned from fighting in the Vietnam War.

“Even though my father survived the Vietnam War, he still became a casualty of combat,” she said. “His exposure to ‘Agent Orange’–a poison used for warfare–resulted in his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.”

According to Estefan, being a teenaged girl having to take care of her sick father took a deep emotional toll on her.

“He lost his ability to speak, he couldn’t walk, he would stand up to try to go to the bathroom and he would fall and he would soil himself,” she said. “I would have to bathe him. He would be crying, embarrassed. And trying to make me feel better. That’s what would kill me.”

She also explained that she didn’t want to burden her loved ones with her painful feelings. “I didn’t want to tell my mother that I was starting to feel cracks in my armor. I didn’t want to tell my grandmother because I didn’t want to worry her,” she said.

Estefan was visibly emotional as she told her daughter and niece that she even had specific fantasies about taking her own life–which is one of the major warning signs of a suicidal person.

“I knew where [my father’s] gun was and I started having desperation thoughts,” she said. “I remember going to the place thinking, okay the gun is there, but what if instead I hang myself because that might be bloody? I had even picked out the tree that I might do it on.” Her daughter Lili looked distressed as Estefan recounted this painful time in her life.

Estefan says what “got her through” her suicidal episode was “thinking of other people that she loved” and how they would react to living without her. “I took myself through the whole process [of what would happen afterward],” she said. “I think it helped, for me, to imagine what life was going to be like forever for the people that I loved.”

After she got through this dark emotional period, Estefan said she got her life back by “focusing on school” and eventually meeting her husband, Emilio, which also helped bring her out of her depression.

The powerful episode aired on Wednesday and includes special guests Karla Souza and Lele Pons who also talk about their mental health battles. You can watch it on Facebook Watch here.

If you or someone you love is depressed or contemplating suicide, please don’t hesitate to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time for support.

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This Beautiful Model’s Experience With Vitiligo Is a Lesson To All Of Us

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This Beautiful Model’s Experience With Vitiligo Is a Lesson To All Of Us

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Those who are familiar with the long-term skin condition called vitiligo know that it can deeply affect a person mentally. Characterized by the loss of pigment in skin, vitiligo can often cause psychological stress for those who experience stigma brought on by the condition.

One model, who is based out of Rio de JanMeiro, Brazil know’s the stress such a condition can cause because he has it.

Roger Monte is a 37-year-old model with vitiligo.

Speaking to mitú, about his experience with vitiligo, Monte says “I really feel super comfortable being who I am.  My spots differ from people and make me unique.” It’s a change from his first reactions to the skin condition that affects 0.5 percent and 1 percent of people worldwide.

Soon after noticing the first white patch that had appeared on his skin at the age of 23, Roger has said that his world completely changed. “Seeing my skin losing pigmentation was terrifying for me. I thought my life, which had barely even started yet, was over at that moment. When I found out that vitiligo can develop because of emotional stress, I blamed myself for it every single day,” he explained according to Daily Mail. “I had a really dark few years and I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. I didn’t accept my condition at all and started using makeup to camouflage my spots.”

When he soon came to learn that vitiligo can be exacerbated by stress, Roger found himself even more distressed.

“I had a really dark few years and I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. I didn’t accept my condition at all and started using makeup to camouflage my spots,” he explained. “I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror and I wore makeup to cover my vitiligo for ten long years. It felt like I was being held, hostage. I didn’t like going to the beach or the gym or anything that made me sweat. I was terrified that someone would notice my spots even though looking back, it must’ve been quite obvious to anyone who looked closely.”

It took Roger a decade to ultimately come to terms with his condition and, eventually, he learned to stop hiding behind makeup.

Eventually, Roger found himself embraced by friends he met at a gym and discovered the full support of those around him.

“In 2016, I met some incredible new friends who started to make me see my spots as something unique and beautiful. One day, I just woke up, took out my cell phone, took a picture and posted it to Instagram,” he explained. “I had never had a photo of me get so many comments and likes. People I hadn’t seen in years were praising my skin and saying that they had never noticed that I had the disease. I even had a boy who had also been hiding his own vitiligo with makeup contact me to say that my posts had inspired him to stop hiding his skin. Another girl even got in touch to say that my story had helped cure her depression.”

The power of Roger’s influence on social media is clear in the 34.5k followers he has amassed in the past few years. When it comes to giving advice to little boys and girls with vitiligo Monte told us at mitú he hopes they learn to “Take on your colors. The world is already full of more of the same and needs colorful and empowered people like us!  Love yourself!

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Bad Bunny Talks Depression And Says Sometimes He Still Feels Like The Boy Who Bagged Groceries Back Home

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Bad Bunny Talks Depression And Says Sometimes He Still Feels Like The Boy Who Bagged Groceries Back Home

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Bad Bunny is on top of the world. Or, at least, that’s how it appears to all of us on the outside enjoying his record-breaking year. Not only did he release three albums in 2020 but he also landed his debut acting role in the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico and from his Instagram stories, he seems to be in a happy, contentful relationship.

But like so many others, Bad Bunny has his experience with mental health issues, of which he recently opened up about in an interview with El País.

Bad Bunny recently spoke up about his struggle with depression.

Despite his immense success that’s catapulted him to, arguably, the world’s biggest superstar, Bad Bunny admits that sometimes he still feels like the young man who bagged groceries in a supermarket.

The reggaetonero revealed in an interview with El País that right as his career really started to take off, he was not happy. “You asked me before how I hadn’t gone crazy. Well, I think that was the moment that was going to determine if I was going to go crazy or not. From 2016 to 2018 I disappeared, I was stuck in a capsule, without knowing anything. The world saw me, but I was missing,” he said.

Although no doctor diagnosed him, he is sure of what was happening. it only did he feel lost and empty but he had stopped doing many of the things that brought him joy, like watching movies and boxing. Without realizing it, he had also fallen out of contact with much of his family, with whom he was typically very close.

“And that’s when I said: who am I? What’s going on?” he told El País. When he returned home to Puerto Rico from spending time in Argentina, he was able to get back into the right state of mind and remember who he was.

Despite his success, Bad Bunny still worries he’s in financial trouble.

Although today, he is the number one Latin artist on Spotify and the awards for his music keep coming, there are times when Bad Bunny still thinks that he has financial problems.

“Not long ago, I was 100% clear in my head what I have achieved, maybe a year or six months ago; but until then, many times I forgot, I felt that I was the kid from the supermarket. He would happen something and say: “Hell!” And then: “Ah, no, wait, if I have here,” he said, touching his pocket.

Much like Bad Bunny, J Balvin has also been candid about his own mental health struggles.

Bad Bunny is just the most recent to speak to the emotional havoc he experiences despite being a global superstar. And, thankfully, like many other celebrities, he’s been able to find refuge in a reality that allows him to keep his feet on the ground so that he too can enjoy the achievements of his career.

Much like El Conejo, J Balvin is known for the brightness of his style and mentality. But he’s long addressed the importance of caring for one’s mental health. During his Arcoíris Tour, he encouraged people to not be ashamed of seeking professional help, and let the audience know they are not alone.   

“Las enfermedades de salud mental son una realidad. Yo he sufrido de depresión y he sufrido de ansiedad, así que tengo que aceptarlo. Y eso me hace más humano, me hace entender que la vida tiene pruebas,” Balvin said. “Pero si alguien está pasando una situación difícil, no están solos, siempre llega la luz. Tarde o temprano llega la luz.”  

“Mental health illnesses are a reality. I have suffered from depression and anxiety, so I have to accept it. And this makes me more human. It makes me understand that life has challenges,” Balvin said in Spanish. “But if someone is going through a difficult time, they are not alone, light always comes. Sooner or later, the light comes.”  

We need more men like Benito and J Balvin to speak up about their mental health struggles, to help destroy the stigma that exists within our community.

And in the same interview, he also spoke about why he works to elevate the Spanish language.

As for the possibility of singing in English, the answer remains the same: a resounding no.

“You have to break this view that the gringos are Gods…No, papi,” he told El País. And, although he’s collaborated with artists like Drake, Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez, he has always sang in Spanish and with his famous accent.

“I am very proud to reach the level where we are speaking in Spanish, and not only in Spanish, but in the Spanish that we speak in Puerto Rico. Without changing the accent,” he said.

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