In a candid and unsuspected video, New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s daughter revealed she has a history of depression and substance abuse.
"Every kid that grows up in New York, grows up really fast," said Chiara de Blasio, 19. "I've had depression — clinical depression — for my entire adolescence. That's been something that I've always dealt with or not known how to deal with."
Though the teenager and her brother, Dante de Blasio, had become the poster kids for their dad’s successful mayoral campaign, it was her younger sibling who stole the thunder with his signature afro, which later became a political symbol. Chiara had not spoken to the press, or been vocal during the campaign except for a campaign commercial she had briefly appeared in.
Chiara said she decided to record the video for the holiday season because it’s "a time a year where these challenges are probably at their sharpest."
"I hope that everybody watches the video, I think it speaks for itself," she added.
In the video, Chiara said she began using marijuana and alcohol as coping mechanisms for her emotional unpreparedness for college and personal struggle with insecurity, although she admitted that she remained diligent in her studies and always attended class. She added that she wanted to come forward about her problems because society has not created an environment where people can talk about their problems and seek help.
"It didn't stand out as a huge thing for me, but then it became a huge thing for me," she said.
"I kept using this false rationality. I would say 'I won't drink’ and I would smoke weed and then say 'I'm not going to smoke weed' and then I would drink... bartering for an equally bad outcome."
Chiara says she overcame her depression and addiction after she sought the help of her psychotherapist and is much happier.
"My mom and dad supported me," she said. "They were both emotionally committed to finding a way to get me better."