Chiara de Blasio, the daughter of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and soon-to-be first lady Chirlane McCray, revealed a history of battling depression and substance abuse in a video released Tuesday by the de Blasio transition team.
In the video, which was sent out in an email that was signed by both Bill and Chirlane, Chiara de Blasio said that she has battled depression for most of her adult life. She said that leaving home for college last year had compounded those problems.
“It made it easier, the more I drank and did drugs, to share some common ground with people,” Chiara said in the video, her voice accompanied by a soft piano tune.
“It didn’t start out as a really huge thing for me. But then it became a really huge thing for me.”
Chiara’s revelation follows month of rumours and questions on the campaign trail — ones on which the de Blasio campaign refused to comment. In the email, Bill and Chirlane said that their daughter decided to reveal her struggles to help other young people.
“As parents, our instinct has been to protect our daughter and privately help her through a deeply personal struggle,” they said. “But not only has Chiara committed to her own health, she is also committed to helping young people everywhere who face similar challenges.”
Chiara said that she thought going away to college 3,000 miles away in California would help her. Instead, it only made her problems worse.
She eventually sought group therapy at an “outpatient treatment center in New York City,” she said.
“Removing substances from my life — it’s opened so many doors for me,” Chiara said. “… By no means is it easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But it’s so worth it.”
Here’s the video in which Chiara tells her story:
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