Andreas Villarreal

Board Member

Why he is a part of U!Shine Vienna

Over several years and in a wide range of settings – work, university, family – he noticed the ongoing stigma concerning neurodivergence, anxiety, and depression, and their consequences. He saw how many tend to stay quiet and isolate themselves in these situations, thinking their suffering is a shameful burden to be carried alone. Whenever he struggled, it was having support, or even only a space where to talk, and express himself that made the difference. He is glad there’s an organization in Vienna specifically trying to provide just that to people.

What brings him joy?

Music of all kinds for every mood, good food (rumours claim it is possible to get him weak-kneed with fresh mango), good books, movies and books, and the company of good friends.

More about Andreas

He was born in Belgium to first-generation expats from Colombia and Mexico, giving him triple nationality. Having gone to a German-speaking school as a kid before switching to the French-speaking system and then moving to Austria, he ended up learning five languages. He’s very excitable about anything sciencey, science-fiction, fantasy, quite a few anime shows, theatre (joined the local amateur drama society), and karaoke.

How does he take care of his mental and emotional health?

He’s taken to journaling to deal with heavy thoughts, just started therapy, and is practicing emotional awareness techniques as well as meditation. Often he tries to reach out to friends, doing his best to ensure they have the emotional energy to be supportive. A favourite thing of his is to cook and listen to good music if he’s having a bad day.

To connect

Instagram @villarrealandreas and Twitter @ARealVillarreal.