Chiara de Blasio addresses the audience before receiving a special recognition award at the National Council for Behavioral Health’s annual conference in National Harbor, Md., May 6, 2014.
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Chiara de Blasio, the 19-year-old daughter of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, opened up about her struggles with depression and substance abuse in both a moving speech and an essay published by xoJane.

The younger de Blasio traveled to Maryland Tuesday to accept an award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, intended to honor role models for young people battling substance abuse and mental illness, the New York Times reported. In a moving speech, de Blasio detailed her road to recovery.

“One year ago I could not have imagined I would be standing before you today as a sober and healthy young woman,” she told the crowd. “One year ago I was lost, confused and overpowered by depression, anxiety, addiction and fear. One year ago, life didn't seem worthwhile. One year later, here I am and that is nothing other than a miracle.”

De Blasio has spoken about her mental illness and substance abuse before. During her father’s mayoral campaign, she released a candid video on Christmas Eve and opened up about her struggles, but she has had little to say on the subject since then.


In an essay published Tuesday by xoJane, de Blasio continued to explain and in turn champion her battle with depression and substance abuse.

“Some people believe that it is impossible for people who come from backgrounds like mine to suffer from the diseases of depression and addiction,” she wrote.


“They may believe that we don’t appreciate what we have, make bad decisions, and/or have some sort of moral deficiency,” she continued. “I am here to tell you that that is not true …. Mental illness does not discriminate.”

Read more at xoJane and the New York Times.

Also on The Root: “De Blasio Daughter Shares Story of Depression and Substance Abuse”