So, Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla have decided to part ways after 11 years. They both took to their social media accounts on November 30 to confirm that the rumors about their breakup are indeed true.

Video compilations on TikTok show fans’ genuine emotional reactions to the split. An example that stood out to me was a junior high school student who came home from school crying. I’m concerned because I believe that if someone doesn’t have a conversation with her to help her manage her emotions, she could potentially become depressed.

I can understand the feelings of the fans, especially those who were deeply invested, as they ultimately became a couple, transitioning from an on-screen to a real-life relationship.

I’ve felt this kind of pain as a fan of AlDub, the on-screen pairing of Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards in Eat Bulaga. Although the circumstances differ, since AlDub wasn’t an actual couple like KathNiel, the emotional experience is strongly similar.

The feeling then was intense and acute, like being relentlessly pricked by a needle, deeply affecting my innermost being. It was as if I had a deep wound that was further irritated with salt, causing extreme pain. It felt like I was battered and worn down, only to be beaten again until I was completely depleted.

Eight years had passed; I was in my early 40s at the time. It’s crazy to think that I was so charmed by something that wasn’t even true. It’s funny because I normally don’t keep up with Filipino celebrities. I only pay attention to them when they make headlines.

Honestly, it was challenging to come to terms with the fact that it was, in reality, just a marketing strategy. It’s humiliating to admit, but as a friend pointed out during our buffet at Senordamla, it’s also good to have had this experience.

This experience taught me that even the most unexpected circumstances can occur, defying my preconceived ideas about romantic pairings in the public eye. And mabuti na lang, I’m old enough to manage my emotions, and though it was difficult, I’ve eventually forgotten and accepted that there’s no AlDub.

But what do the fans really go through? Doc Alvin explained that things have effects on fans because the intense sadness they feel is no joke. The brain reacts when it experiences emotional pain and sends signals that either slow down or speed up the heart rate.

Moreover, it alters chemicals and hormones in the brain that can lead to various physical responses. Some people experience muscle tightening, difficulty in breathing, dry mouth, and even cognitive effects—they struggle to focus at work and have trouble sleeping.

When these effects are combined, they can lower the body’s resistance. The most concerning outcome to watch out for is the onset of depression. Depression can be short-term, with the possibility of recovery within just a few weeks, or it can be long-term, persisting for an extended period in an individual’s life.

“Usually, ang nararamdaman nila dyan, wala na silang pag-asa, or wala ng meaning yong buhay nila,” he said. Grieving fans lack the drive to even get out of bed, are susceptible to sudden changes in mood, and often feel energy-depleted and constantly fatigued.

His most important advice is not to suppress your emotions but to express everything you feel. It’s okay to cry, get angry, or even shout—don’t hold back because this is the first step towards your recovery as you go through intense pain.

The second step is to focus on yourself or engage in activities you haven’t tried before. Travel or embark on a culinary adventure to try new foods. It’s important to avoid excessive indulgence, such as too much alcohol consumption, as it can potentially harm your well-being. Explore new interests and diversify your fan experiences. Discovering new hobbies or interests can help shift your focus and reduce the impact of the breakup on your emotions.

Third is share your feelings with friends or fellow fans who understand what you’re going through. Talking can be therapeutic and help you process your emotions.

I did all these before and I also stayed away from social media. Hindi naman ganoon kalayo. Yong sakto lang. Sometimes, social media can exacerbate feelings of sadness. Consider taking a break or limiting your exposure to posts related to the split to give yourself a mental break.

Don’t bother reading or watching what Cristy Fermin and others are saying, as their words aren’t helpful. They’re resorting to body shaming and seemingly creating conflict between characters in the story, which can only worsen the pain.

This might sound simple, akin to trying to pat your head while rubbing your tummy—easier said than done. Yet, taking a cue from Kathryn’s wisdom on Instagram, it’s time to conclude that chapter and move forward. Clinging to negative vibes is like extending an invitation to a gloomy ghost at your celebration. And who wants an uninvited guest like that?

For KathNiel fans, it’s easy to be bewitched by celebrity love stories, but remember, they’re human too, with their own set of challenges. We shouldn’t let their experiences outshine the significance of nurturing our own emotional well-being.

This whole situation teaches us an important truth: nothing is permanent, and the true power to navigate life’s ups and downs comes from within. Rather than getting swept up in the tales of celebrities, we should concentrate on our emotional development, which will lead to a richer self-awareness and personal advancement.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.