Nadine Lustre recalls working while still grieving over brother’s death


Trigger warning: Mentions of depression and suicide

Nadine Lustre opened up on challenges concerning her mental health, especially when she had to continue working despite the passing of her younger brother, Isaiah Lustre, in 2017.

The actress made the revelation in a two-part interview with One Down, a Filipino-American media company, while pointing out that mental health remains a taboo issue in the Philippines.

“When I was challenged with my mental health after my brother had passed away, I kid you not, someone told me — because I asked for a break from work — someone told me that, like, ‘It’s okay. When you get back to work, it’s going to go away,’” she said in the interview uploaded on YouTube on 27 March and 3 April.

“That triggered me a bit just because I know it wasn’t going to go away like that. I know that it’s something I had to deal with,” she added.

The Deleter actress revealed that working while grieving over her brother’s death was the “most challenging” time of her life as she had to shoot a variety show back then.

Lustre’s 16-year-old brother was found lifeless in his home in October 2017, with authorities concluding depression and suicide as the cause.

But she had to continue working despite going through a difficult time in her life: “I was grieving at the time but on TV, I had to smile and interact with people like nothing happened. That was really hard. At some point, when I felt I was already crumbling, I’d ask for a break.

“How they responded was, like, ‘Just keep working. You’ll forget about it.’ It just goes to show how uneducated and how out of touch we are when it comes to mental health issues.”

She also recalled being unsure of how she’d manage to get through that time of her life, as she was bound by “contractual obligations.”

“As much as you want to take a break and have to breathe from it, you can’t really do it, especially if you’re under contract,” the actress said, adding that everything felt like “autopilot.” She had to pull through because she had responsibilities at work.

Looking back on her teen years, the 30-year-old actress mentioned struggling to handle her mental health issues.

“Honestly, when I was going through it in my teen years, in some way, I kind of prayed for it to go away because I didn’t really know how to handle it,” she admitted.

However, as she grew older and wiser, she realized the importance of self-love and showing up for herself despite going through personal ordeals.

“I imagine myself as my own best friend and I hang out with myself, like I take myself out on dates. I eat out by myself… It’s just as simple as asking yourself, ‘What do you want to do today?’” she said on how she expresses self-love.