Ellen Adarna has opened up on her mental health struggles and how the mental training she took up in Indonesia helped her whole being.

In a three-part video on Instagram, she talked about the Kokoro program she did in Bali last year.

“Before the program, I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder and the reason why these things happened to me was because of the death of my father, I had unhealthy relationships, and I had just gave birth at that time,” the actress said.

Ellen said all these things she mentioned happened altogether at one time a “so it really was a recipe for those issues and problems.”

She said at that time she didn’t know who she was anymore, “having lost an anchor in the family and with all the changes that came along with motherhood.”

“I lost myself, I lost any identity, I don’t know who I was. I was very confused and basically I lost my confidence, I lost the trust I had in myself way back when I was younger,” Ellen said.

“I consider myself as a very strong person and those things I lost and it was like back to zero,” she added.

Ellen said during her depressive state she was “sleeping a lot” and was always tired even if she wasn’t doing anything.

“I was also taking care of my son but that time felt like a blur because most of what I remember is just that I’m always tired and sleeping,” she said.

“I knew that I always wanted a kid, a child, but every time I looked at him I’d be even more depressed because what is this,” she added.

Ellen said she then questioned, “Is this what motherhood is? I’m tired, I’m sad, I’m grieving.”

She said she had a therapist and psychiatrist and at the time she was talking to them she didn’t take any medication because she was breastfeeding.

Ellen said she only started taking pills right after she breastfed.

She said it got rid of her sadness and tiredness but she “wouldn’t feel anything.”

“I wasn’t happy. I was like a robot,” she added. “The pills were just to mask the problems, it was just a layer, a filter.”

The healing

Ellen then heard the program from one of her friends and saw how it had changed her.

She finally decided to sign up for the 14-day program in Bali, Indonesia undergoing mental and physical training.

Ellen said each day they have a routine: waking up at 5 am, meditating, journaling, exercising both physically and mentally, and the discussing the purpose of the exercises.

“This is where most of my learning took place. Through the talking. It was like therapy and life lessons,” she said.

The actress said her takeaway from her experience is “to deal with it, manage it, and to let it pass.

“You do things that are good for your body—you feed your body, and you feed your mind,” she said.

Ellen admitted she was in doubt at first about how much transformation was possible in those two weeks, but she soon began to see the results.

“Because we had to change our habits, our ways… my mindset changed, I suddenly had rituals, I was more aware of things around me. My life changed, how I viewed things changed.”

Ellen said she was “always angry and aggressive” before the program, but she now feels good and great.

“Now, I think I am better, and I am aware of catching it, so I had better relationships with people,” she said. “I’m not as temperamental. With my depression and anxiety, it’s basically gone, and it’s like it never happened.”

Ellen took the program almost a year ago in Pondok Taksu Bali. It is run by the Mudiadnya family and is headed by Pk. Jero Wayan, a monk and Ni Ketut Seni, a Balinese priestess.

Ellen received a certificate of achievement from Kokoro Team Bali after finishing the program. —Jannielyn Bigtas/MGP, GMA News

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