MANILA, Philippines – Beauty queen Samantha Panlilio opened up about recent challenges to her mental health, saying that she suffered from depression after she finished competing for the Miss Grand International 2021 pageant.
In her Instagram account on Friday, January 29, the beauty queen uploaded a video excerpt of a speech she delivered for the Trinity University of Asia on the topic of mental health in relation to the digital world.
“After competing in Thailand, I felt so lost. Frankly, because of the way some things turned out,” she began her speech. Samantha failed to make it to the Top 20 of the Miss Grand International competition that happened in Thailand last December 2021.
She continued, “I was also reading so many comments online. I feel like people were pointing out each and every flaw that I had. And it was just so hard to accept.” Samantha also added that at that time, she also lost her sister-in-law because of cancer.
“Not only was I dealing with my own personal heartbreaks but I was also dealing with my family’s. Because of this I fell into depression. I was just lost and I couldn’t control my emotions anymore. I felt so overwhelmed,” she added.
The beauty queen then said that she was able to overcome her hardships by asking help from her friends and family, as well as taking a break from social media.
“It was during this time that I learned that happiness is always a choice. People may say things about you but it’s up to us on how we react to these uncertainties and uncontrollable situations. It’s what inherently makes us a stronger and better person at the end of the day,” she said.
She then ended her speech by reminding her viewers to prioritize their mental health as much as their physical health. “You are stronger than you think and no one can define your character, resilience, and the power that you have in you.”
In the Instagram caption, Samantha said that she was initially quite hesitant to share her mental health struggles. “But now that I am healed, it’s something that I am proud of,” she wrote.
Fellow beauty queens like Samantha Bernardo, Hannah Arnold, Francesca Taruc, and Ayn Bernos have left well-wishes in the comments section. – Rappler.com