Texas Politician Lina Hidalgo Took a Leave from Work Due to Suicidal Thoughts, Depression — and Paid $88,000 for Treatment

Texas Democrat Lina Hidalgo Opens Up About Leaving Work for 9 Weeks Due to Suicidal Thoughts, Depression
Lina Hidalgo.Picture:

Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle by way of Getty

Texas politician Lina Hidalgo is again to work after taking 9 weeks off to deal with her psychological well being and get skilled remedy, saying “I do assume there’s a world by which I’d have killed myself” if she hadn’t taken motion.

And now, the Democrat, 32, is speaking about her expertise to assist cut back the stigma round despair — and the staggering price of remedy.

“It was round $88,000,” Hidalgo informed CBS Mornings on Friday. “That is the place I cease and say, ‘I don’t have $88,000.’”

Whereas her longtime boyfriend used his financial savings to pay for many of her medical payments, “We’re not in a terrific monetary place proper now,” she says. “We’re preventing the insurance coverage firm,”

However Hidalgo says she didn’t have another alternative, looking for skilled remedy at a Ohio facility solely after exhausting all different choices.

“I simply felt so trapped,” she informed CBS Information. “I train. I sleep properly. I eat properly. I’ve a psychologist. I’ve a psychiatrist. What else do I do? There’s no approach out.”

Texas Democrat Lina Hidalgo Opens Up About Leaving Work for 9 Weeks Due to Suicidal Thoughts, Depression
Lina Hidalgo.


“I’m nonetheless feeling so down and so empty, and so unhappy.”

She says that originally, she didn’t assume she may take a depart of absence for remedy.

“Individuals mentioned, ‘No, you’re an govt. Politically, you’d by no means survive it.’”

It was solely after Pennsylvania’s Senator John Fetterman took a depart of absence to hunt remedy for his personal despair wrestle that Hidalgo realized she may search remedy and retain her high-pressure job.

As the primary girl and the primary Latina elected because the Harris County choose, Hidalgo runs your entire county of 5 million folks — which incorporates Houston — and its $4 billion funds. 

After successful over an 11-year incumbent in an upset 2018 election, Hidalgo is now chargeable for emergency administration, which implies she’s in cost when disasters strike, whether or not that comes within the type of chemical fires, floods, a pandemic or energy grid failures throughout a historic winter storm.

Texas Democrat Lina Hidalgo Opens Up About Leaving Work for 9 Weeks Due to Suicidal Thoughts, Depression
Lina Hidalgo.

 Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle by way of Getty 

This previous July — proper when a mural in her honor was being unveiled — the suicidal ideas she skilled when dropping out of regulation college returned “worse than ever earlier than.” 

After attending the mural presentation, Hidalgo flew to the Ohio remedy heart, saying, “I’m sick, I gotta go.”

Prioritizing her psychological well being over her constituents was a problem, she says, however “I needed to make myself cease serious about that as a result of I by no means would have left.”

And now, she’s hoping that sharing her story will assist with the “stigma round psychological well being.”

“The objective is for people to see it as no totally different than a politician who suffers from hypertension…or has had a coronary heart assault.”

And as for individuals who say her depart of absence is a purpose to step down, Hidalgo says, “I really feel higher than ever now, and I want I’d achieved it sooner. That was a part of the disgrace.” 

“I’m so dedicated. I’m extra decided to remain in politics,” she says, and has a message for her critics.

“People are petrified of me for a purpose, so I’m not going to place these fears away simply but.”


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