During the digital conference for the drama series Ang sa Iyo ay Akin for actors Paulo Angeles and Michelle Vito held last Wednesday, September 23, the press asked Paulo and Michelle how their lives are during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For his part, the actor and Hashtags member opened up about his anxiety and depression, which he admitted he has had even way before the pandemic happened in the country.
“Minsan, may times talaga na from masaya, tas kahit wala akong problema, bigla akong magsi-switch ng mood. ’Di ko alam kung bakit,” Paulo said. “Minsan mag-a-attacks ako sa gabi,”
He then recounted a few days before the conference, during the taping of Ang sa Iyo ay Akin, wherein he experienced an anxiety attack on set. Paulo expressed his gratitude for his fellow cast members like Chesca Iñigo and Jimi Marquez who helped him get through the attack.
“The other day, buti nandiyan ’yong cast para tulungan ako. Nagka-anxiety attack ako,” Paulo looked back. “Buti tinulungan ako nila ma’am Chesca, nila Jimmy, lahat ng cast dito.”
He further explained that anxiety is not an easy topic to explain, especially to people who had not experienced it.
“Minsan, tinatamaan ako. Ang dami kasing bad news ngayon talaga na pumapasok, ngayong pandemic. Puro bad news talaga,” he said.
One factor that helps Paulo ease his anxiety is having family members around him.
“Isang nakakatulong din sa’kin talaga, family ko. At least, ngayon, mas nakakasama ko na ’yong family ko kumpara noong walang COVID,” he said. “Kasi sa iba nakatira ’yong mga kapatid ko, eh. Sa mga condo nila, kasi nag-aaral sila ng medicine. So, ngayong COVID, at least kasama ko na sila, so kahit papano natutulungan nila ako.”
When asked how he attempts to fight or stop an anxiety attack, Paulo recalled a breathing exercise taught by lead star Jodi Sta. Maria and fellow cast member Chesca Iñigo. He also said he used to take prescription medicine, but had to stop because of side effects.
“May tinuro sa’kin na breathing exercise sina ma’am Jodi, sila ma’am Chesca,” he said. “Pero, dati kasi nagte-take ako ng gamot na prescribed, pero ’di ko tinuloy kasi nag-high blood ako. Nag-side effect siya.”
“Actually, ’di ko alam kung may way ba talaga para labanan kasi kahit ako hindi ko alam, eh. Parang hinahantay ko na lang siya mawala,” he added.
Paulo was asked if he ever seeked professional help because of his mental health issue, with the actor saying he did but had admitted having no time to focus on it because of his ongoing projects at the time.
When asked why he is comfortable talking about his anxiety, Paulo answered: “’Yun naman talaga ’yong nararamdaman ko, eh, so parang hindi ko siya kailangan i-tago.”