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Kara David says she has bipolar disorder, manages it through triathlon

By NICK GARCIA Published May 12, 2023 4:35 pm

Veteran broadcast journalist Kara David said she has bipolar disorder, which she manages through exercise, triathlon, and other intense physical activities.

David, 49, made the revelation in a May 9 guesting at fellow Kapuso Nelson Canlas's podcast Updated with Nelson Canlas.

"Matagal ko na iyon alam," David said, "na I have bipolar disorder."

The United States' National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines bipolar disorder as a mental illness that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration.

The moods, according to the NIMH, range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, irritable, or energized behavior (or manic episodes) to very “down,” sad, indifferent, or hopeless periods (or depressive episodes).

It's often diagnosed during late adolescence or early childhood. The NIMH said though the symptoms may vary over time, bipolar disorder usually requires lifelong treatment.

David talked about the struggles of becoming "very happy" at one point, only to become "very sad."

"So ang gusto mong mangyari, hindi ka masyadong masayang-masaya tapos biglang babagsak ka, made-depress ka nang bonggang-bongga," she said. "Ang gusto mo iyong medyo banayad ka lang."

While she's taking medications before, David said she didn't wanna depend on them to manage her hormones.

Instead, she opted for activities that can release natural endorphins or "happy hormones," as per her doctor's advice.

These include hitting the gym, playing badminton and, eventually, joining triathlon (swimming, running, biking).

David even won third place at the Mt. Mayon Triathlon held in Legazpi City in August 2022.

“So (it's) my conscious be active," she said.

David urged the public to support their family and friends who may have mental health problems, seeking professional help as much as possible.

She also urged those who have mental health issues to "embrace" their condition and use it to their "advantage."

David is known for hosting GMA's news programs i-Witness, Brigada, and Pinas Sarap.

She won awards for her journalism work, including Ten Outstanding Young Men, Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service, and Peabody.


If you think you, your friend, or your family member is in need of help, you may call the National Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 1553 (Luzon-wide, landline toll-free), 0966-351-4518 or 0917-899-USAP (8727) for Globe/TM users, or 0908-639-2672 for Smart users.