Today, Bill de Blasio's campaign sent out an email, sent from the Mayor-elect and his wife Chirlane McCray, reading, "For many, the holiday season is a time for joy. But it’s also a time when some of those battling depression and substance abuse find their struggle most difficult. With the hope of helping others, our daughter Chiara is courageously sharing her story." And there's video of the 19-year-old discussing her challenges, describing her clinical depression. She also starts with, "Every kid who grows up in New York grows up pretty fast":
Chiara says she drank and smoked weed, "It made it easier, the more I drank and did drugs, to share some common ground with people that I wouldn’t have. It didn’t start out as like a huge thing for me, but then it became a really huge thing for me." But she adds that she didn't prepare herself mentally and emotionally for gong to college, "I thought all my problems would go away if I got on a plane 3,000 miles" away.
The teen went to out-patient treatment in New York City. "If you're depressed or dealing with mental illness and you think that may have something to do with your drug abuse or drinking—or if you're just suffering from both of those at the same time and think that they're completely unrelated to one another… getting sober is always a positive thing. It's not easy, by no means is it easy, it's the hardest thing I've ever done. But it's so worth it," she said.
De Blasio and McCray also wrote, "As parents, our instinct has been to protect our daughter and privately help her through a deeply personal struggle. But not only has Chiara committed to her own health, she is also committed to helping young people everywhere who face similar challenges. Her courage to speak out demonstrates a wisdom and maturity far beyond her 19 years, and we are grateful every day for her commitment to lifting up those who need to know that they are not alone."
The Post points out, "Rumors about her substance abuse had been swirling since the summer and her father’s campaign had aggressively gone after reporters who disclosed that she was attending Santa Clara University in California."
De Blasio previously discussed his father's suicide when the Post published a story about the how World War II veteran was found in his car with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. De Blasio's father Warren Wilhelm, who lost part of his leg during his wartime service and was accused of being a Communist, had declined into alcoholism and had terminal cancer at the end of his life.