Vito's Story

Feeling isolated from his Pasifika culture at school left Vito feeling out of control. Once he discovered others like him he was able to talk about his depression and learned how to give his mind a break.

It felt like there was a particular type of Pacific kid that I was supposed to be

Our family was the only Pacific Island family in the primary school. I got put up a class and it was a huge identity clash - I kind of looked around and thought, “I’m not supposed to be here.” I couldn’t be one of the smart kids in class, because that was a very Palangi thing to do.


All sorts of things affect your mental health

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I felt quite sad, very lonely and often quite tearful

So I started rebelling from around that age. I kind of lost control. It felt like I was being subjected to life rather than living life; I was being subjected to just having to be here. I didn’t really talk to anybody about it for a long time.


Depression or anxiety is different for everyone

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I discovered a bunch of other people who have similar experiences

When I did actually tell a few people, a few of the responses from some of my friends actually kind of surprised me. I remember waking up one morning and just feeling like everything I had been through shouldn’t be in vain; I could actually use what I had been through to share with other people and hopefully they learn from it.


There are things that can help you get through

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Music gives my mind enough of a break that I can just kind of recoup

If I’m having trouble pushing negative thoughts out of the way, whether it's for five minutes on the guitar or a couple of hours of DJ’ing even at home to myself, I can mentally recuperate. My work in mental health also helps me to stay well in that it has given me something rewarding to do.


There are changes you can make to stay well

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it's taking the ugliness of my experience and turning it into something beautiful

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