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Yassi Pressman explains how negative media attention affects mental health of celebrities

By Ratziel San Juan Published May 04, 2023 9:00 am

They may be rich and famous, but even celebrities are not spared from struggling with mental health issues. Take it from Yassi Pressman who went through the same challenges in the past few years.

Yassi started having mental health problems when her father Ronnie passed away in February 2020. This in addition to bearing the constant pressure of being a celebrity with a background of regularly making headlines as one of the most sought-after actresses in the Philippines.

In an exclusive interview with PhilSTAR L!fe during Mind You's diplomatic briefing on mental health on May 3, Yassi said that celebrities are affected by negative attention on social media, too, because they are ultimately people just like everyone else.

"I think, pinakaimportanteng maintindihan din ng lahat ng tao once they speak about anybody else is that they're also human. Everybody has feelings and I think I'm an advocate for kindness all the time. Just sharing love and making someone else smile on social media, because it's a very, very powerful tool," Yassi tells L!fe.

She stressed how negativity across different media shouldn't be taken lightly just because it doesn't take place in real life.

"Negativity, it has the same effects as someone being bullied in school. Cyberbullying is actually a crime as well. Hindi mo nari-realize 'yung mga sinasabi mo tungkol sa isang tao and the effects that it has on those people as they grow up and move forward," Yassi continues.

The FPJ's Ang Probinsyano actress advises people to just be "a bit more careful" when it comes to their choice of words wherever they go: "Because maraming mga dinadalang mga mabibigat 'yung mga tao who do get affected by the hateful stuff on social media."

She concluded with a simple but practical message to always err on the side of caution to minimize our harm to others. "There's gonna be good and bad news. I think we should always be careful with the facts that we state and consider how we word things. And be careful with our words."

Yassi was present at Mind You's May 3 event as the mental health app's investor and as someone passionate about promoting positive mental health among Filipinos.

Over the past year, the actress has been openly discussing the topic of mental health and her own struggles on several platforms including Liza Soberano's podcast and Karen Davila's vlog.

In her conversation with the ABS-CBN journalist, Yassi revealed that her mental health journey began when she noticed that her anxiety was already affecting her physical health as she was grieving her father's death.

"It got to the point where I was feeling I was having a stroke na because of the stress and tension from within. It started in my stomach and then nagka-cramps po 'yung legs ko,” she said. "And then pati 'yung thighs ko and then parang papunta na siya sa chest and fingers. Hindi ko magalaw fingers ko. Halos manigas talaga like my half face."

This then inspired Yassi to invest in Mind You as a way of providing help to those struggling with their mental health.

“Sometimes we really need someone to talk to and I am so happy that this is happening…alam nilang safe sila, alam nilang hindi sila i-ju-judge….alam nila na ok kaya kong i-unload lahat ito dito sa taong ito because this person’s responsibility is only to take care of my well-being, and mahirap yun pag pamilya o kaibigan dahil natatakot tayo," the actress said during the launch of the app at the National Health Summit last November.

Recently, Yassi spoke vocally against "fake conspiracies" suggesting there was a conflict between her and Nadine Lustre in relation to the rumored romance between her sister Issa Pressman and Nadine's ex James Reid.