Trigger warning: This article contains mentions of depression and self-harm.
Michael Pacquiao has opened up about his struggle with depression, which got so bad that he once considered self-harm.
During a May 11 interview on Julius Babao UNPLUGGED, the titular media personality talked to Michael about his experience of "living alone and walking away from the shadow of Manny Pacquiao."
"Just because na mayaman kami, wala nang problems, ‘cause money doesn’t solve all problems," the son of Manny and Jinkee Pacquiao said.
Such problems include bullying for his appearance and family background, which he also previously discussed on NED TALKS.
“[Others] make fun of me, saka they would make fun of my face, my name, t'saka backstab me. Talk behind your back," Michael said. His bullies even included people who pretended to be his friends.
According to the young Filipino artist, being rich is "not fulfilling" since the joy of buying things is only fleeting: “I thought it would make me happy, make me satisfied, make me fulfilled. But it’s not the case. It’s not permanent," Michael admitted.
He likewise related his sensitive experience to explain how deeply depression affected him.
“I would just smile, but deep inside it’s like empty. I was dwelling in it. I was thinking about it too much... Akala ko super big problem na 'yung depression. I didn’t know where I was going with my life," Michael summarized.
He even contemplated harming himself at one point but then thought of its implications, including what his parents would think.
“They comforted me. My dad talked to me. We prayed. I felt nice, I felt better," Michael recalled the support from his family.
From there, he directed much of his attention to music, exercise, and boxing.
Asked by Julius about his advice for youth who are going through similar ordeals, Michael relayed his message of hope.
“You’re not alone. 'Yun ang important part. You can talk to someone about what you feel and don’t let feelings determine your choice of action," Michael advised.
Personally, he found his purpose by placing God at the center of his life. He also found joy in the simple things that money can't buy.
"In my experience, the most satisfying, the most enjoyable things that I’ve done were the most satisfying, like hang out with friends. 'Yung mga simple lang," Michael concluded.