Why Joseph Ubalde committed suicide

Seph was one of the “Top 10 Cutest TV Newsmen: 2012 Edition” of Spot.ph. His charming toothpaste-ad smile was a giveaway. Unfortunately, it's not entirely real. He was supposed to be a happy and successful guy, but why was it not it enough?

3
7038
suicide jornalist
Chiseled Joseph Ubalde was determined. Taken in El Nido in December 2018, after a year of challenging himself to be fit.

Joseph Ubalde’s life was seemingly perfect!

Joseph “Seph” Ubalde was a senior news producer at GMA News TV, TV5’s weatherman, and content manager who won two journalism awards. He was also a columnist for Manila Times, Mega Magazine editor, and senior lecturer at UP where he also graduated. He studied in Germany and worked as a consultant for the Asian Development Bank. On April 1, 2019, his lifeless body was found submerged in the bathtub at a five-star hotel in BGC. He committed suicide after a lengthy video blog, he was 33 years old.

Seph’s video-blog clearly tells why

Ubalde has been suffering from sadness and anxiety since grade school. He was abused by his father and bullied in school. In 2016, he underwent psychiatric help after 2 months of sleepless nights. Joseph was at the height of his successful career. “…deep inside, when you’re all by yourself when you’re all alone, that’s when the facade crumbles and that’s when you have to grapple with your monsters and demons,” he said in the original video.

joseph ubalde suicide drown
All smiles, Joseph Ubalde’s post in El Nido, weeks before he though life wasn’t worth living for.

Genuine friends are scare

He was clinically depressed and the reason was clear. “I had no one to assure or validate me that everything will be okay. I wish I had more friends who I can call at midnight… That I think is important: friends who would genuinely check up on you, who would really ask you how you are and who are really invested in your wellness. If I had friends like that, I think I would not have kept all my problems to myself and feel alone“.

Like Nadine Lustre’s brother, he too committed suicide because he felt no one was there for him. Isaiah Lustre in his post said, “there is emptiness… I need someone to lean on.”

→ Looking for a support group?

im depressed help me

Why do people get depressed?

Seph Ubalde sought professional help, but it was not enough. Truth is, we all get depressed because we have a constant enemy who is after our destruction. He is a thief that comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Even Pastors get depressed, some committed suicide.

→ The root cause of depression.

Satan targets Christians as his trophies

Just because you have Jesus as your Lord and savior, a Christian, or someone active in church does not mean depression won’t crawl on you. Recently, two US mega-Pastors Andrew Stoecklein and Jarrid Wilson committed suicide. Pretty girl Noa Pothoven age 17, from the Netherlands, chose to die because of deep emotional sexual trauma.

Satan hunts among the hopeless and the hurting, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). He wants to sift God’s workers like wheat (Luke 22:31–32). Clearly, he is bent on destroying those who bear the image of God. Fortunately, the Biblical Job sets for us the ultimate example that there is always hope, in the midst of tragedy. Although Satan tried to destroy Job, his faith in God kept him literary alive and well! (Job 13)

Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza was raped by 7 men and it ended this way.

The mind is the devil’s playground

Depression is rooted in hopelessness, which is the total opposite of why Jesus came. He is our hope, “we do not lose heart” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). On the other hand, Satan tells us “there is no hope,” and the only escape is death. Unfortunately, many believe this lie, that is why we should share the Gospel of Jesus to everyone.

→ How to pray like Jesus and get answers.

The peace of God will guard your heart & mind in Christ Jesus

facebook post ubalde
Joseph Ubalde’s last Facebook cover – A view from Batanes lighthouse. It was perhaps his inspiration as he ended his 33-minute video with a smile, “See you on the other side.”

Wholeness in Christ: A state of being unbroken 

The GOOD NEWS!: Faith in Christ gives us hope. However, even “faith” itself is from Jesus, its author, and finisher (Hebrews 12:2). People, things, or a thriving career do not make us whole, only Jesus can (Colossians 2:10). Do not grieve, the joy of the Lord is your strength! (Nehemiah 8:10). May the peace of God guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Do not grieve, the joy of the Lord is your strength!

RESOURCES:
Free counseling network in the Philippines.
Need help in overcoming depression and addiction?
How to overcome depression according to scriptures.

3 COMMENTS

  1. There is so much assumption here. One thing this article dangerously assume is that depression is a faith issue only and not a real physical and mental disease. 35 percent of pastors in the US suffers from depression, many has taken suicide.. It is now starting to happen here in the Philippines. So if you got sick do you lack faith? If you have a heart disease will people say you lack faith? Why the stigma that depression is a matter of faith? The article is too short to really express what depression is. It is mishandled despite the understandably good intention and correct cure. One can have the correct med but if the procedure was not done right it can cause more harm than help.

    • Gp, what the writer is pointing out is the existence and involvement of an ENEMY who attacks the mind. It’s even mentioned in the writing that pastors also go through depression. Nobody is immune.

      What we all need to understand here is that we are being pulled away from our responsibility to our own selves to think rationally. To keep choosing and pushing to live a normal life. To be good stewards of our own bodies. It’s become easier to simply succumb to victim mentality. Why? Because most of us have been overprotected. We were raised to live a life of ease and comfort. We were raised to believe that we deserve comfort and convenience. And so the moment we experience difficulty and challenges, we act entitled as though none of us deserve hardship. Have you heard of anyone who live in the slums taken their own life? There were those others who chose to kill their own selves with no similar sorrowful past whose life was what others envy. Why did they do that?

      In the case of Seph, he was abused and bullied growing up. I get that. But how many people alive today experienced the same? He masked all his hurts and resentments. Perhaps, he bottled in much anger and bitterness. Those are toxins that eat people alive! If he remained carrying those pains of the past until his last trying to make sense as to why was he handed a life different from how he wished he had, it means he never let go of that episode and never forgiven his abusers and that was what acted like cancer in his system. Rotten his reason and judgment.

      Events in our lives happen and none of us were asked whether we wanted to experience them or not. We do with what we’re handed. That’s how life is. If anyone suffers from some past and it keeps destroying them in the present, it’s a choice. How come those survivors of the world war who were physically, mentally, and sexually abused and tortured managed to keep on living until they’re old? Managed to live normally eventually? Trauma was there. Surely, they had faced terrifying nights as though their perpetrators are still present. But, they chose to live as they should.

      And there are many voiceless victims of abuse everywhere behind pleasant and seemingly happy faces. What differs those who didn’t allow themselves get defeated by depression is their will to fight. The resistance to demand for a comfortable life. They face every horrible memories without drama but just with all honesty that they are frightened, angry, and bitter. They let go. They didn’t demand that they be given the attention, understanding, love, and care they much needed. Because that would only add to the negative feeling when not received as how they wish to receive what. Think about it. You do try to be sensitive to people, don’t you? If people are hiding behind masks, they in fact already closed their doors behind people who could’ve given them what they wanted to get. To ask others to be sensitive to what we might be going through behind a facade is too much. People have their own lives and problems to deal with. To make others responsible for our own suffering while we hide behind a mask is to be entitled. Why won’t we all just brave it and say it out loud what we think we need?

      You know something bad may have happened to us, but it does not have to affect our tomorrows. It is a choice. It is our responsibility to ourselves to get back on track. It is not anybody else’s.

      I say this because I was able to escape the lies of the enemy myself. I was myself depressed. I suffered for years trying to live normally while nobody knew what I was suffering from. I hid behind a character nobody could guess I was already bruised, limp, hopeless. Thoughts of taking antidepressant and even of just dying were all over my head. Every day was a torture. During that time it’s as though nothing good was happening to me when there were. More and more lies were injected in my mind blinding me to things I should be thankful and grateful for. I almost believed all the lies. Until I decided to seek help. Not from psychiatrists, but from the Lord. I read the Bible. I sought Him daily in my suffering. And you know, to tell you frankly, it didn’t seem like working at first. Thoughts remained there. Like warts re-appearing here and there. But, I held on. And God led me through the way out of it. He replaced every lie with the Truth.

      All my suffering was never because of what was done to me. Not because of the pain inflicted to me by another, but by my own. It was more convenient for me to just assign blame to who hurt me when certain behavior and feelings of deep loneliness show up. I didn’t want to be responsible to myself in moving on. Deep down, there was this yearning for justice. Nobody has any right to blame me for my acts because I was bleeding. And it was because of another person who was not anymore present in my life. My suffering was because I refused to forgive. So the enemy took that as his foothold against me.

      What solution Jesus Christ gave us is FORGIVENESS. Because He knows the damage it can cause us if we don’t. It doesn’t harm anyone else more than it does us. The root of all depression is being too self-absorbed. “I need people to understand me.” “I need to feel that I matter to them.” A depressed person often withdraws from their crowd and then be alone with their own company, then would accuse others of not caring. That is so wrong. I know and I say this because I was there. I was self-absorbed because I was suffering. And that’s what brought me deeper into depression. Such a toxic cycle.

      The writer isn’t dismissing anything and putting a faith-based solution alone. He is helping in opening our minds to the Truth. We have been entrusted that life we’re given and we are to care for it rather than assigning responsibility to another all because we’re so tired and hurt.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here