We cannot continue to suffer in silence

Sometimes I wonder whether other people ever feel so heavy that it seems almost impossible to wake up and face the day.

Thoughts of suicide linger in my head like an alarm clock that I can’t turn off. I question whether all the efforts I make to look at life in a more positive way are even worth it.

My therapist tells me that some of the good moments I experience are symptoms of being bipolar, all part of the ups and downs of my condition.

Do happiness and functionality even belong to me?

My friends tell me that it’s going to be okay. My grandmother tells me that I should pray. But do they understand our experiences — that I’m still that gender-nonconforming kid whose world was shaken by watching my mother’s condition deteriorate because of HIV.

She might have also struggled with mental illness but didn’t have the language to articulate what was happening inside her. She was too busy trying to survive poverty.

How do you get professional help when you’re still a disenfranchised black person in South Africa? Getting access to the public healthcare system is such a tedious process. We’re already trying to survive so much. Medication is expensive.

There’s always that one person ekasi that they refer to as “ihlanya” — a derogatory term used to dismiss that person’s experience. We laughed at them and looked at them as though they were some sort of clown.

When we grow up, we realise that that person may have been living with schizophrenia. Who knew that I might share a similar condition with the person I was taught to shame?

So many of us question whether anyone will love us once they find out we’re “crazy”.

Besides being fortunate enough to have found professional help, I have also found power in seeing myself as a spiritual being who possesses infinite powers.

I hope we can continue having conversations about mental illness, because so many people suffer in silence, and it’s not okay.

Advertisting

Stay in China, government tells homesick South Africans

As ‘impisoned’ children at epicentre cry to be reunited with their parents, top official says families mustn’t be ungrateful

Cradock Four back to haunt De Klerk

Pressure is mounting on the NPA to charge the former president and others involved in political killings during apartheid

Ramaphosa makes peace with Malema over gender-based violence comments

In his Sona response, the president apologised for the weaponising of gender-based violence, saying the attack on the red beret leader was "uncalled for"

Steenhuisen takes the lead in DA race while Ntuli falters

‘If you want a guarantee buy a toaster. This is politics’
Advertising

Press Releases

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.

NWU student receives international award

Carol-Mari Schulz received the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene Top Achiever Award.

Academic programme resumes at all campuses

Lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials will all resume today as per specific academic timetables.

Strategic social investments are a catalyst for social progress

Barloworld Mbewu enables beneficiaries to move away from dependence on grant funding

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Powering societal progress demands partnerships between all stakeholders

So you want to be a social entrepreneur?

Do the research first; it will save money and time later

Social entrepreneurship means business

Enterprises with a cause at their core might be exactly what our economy desperately needs

Looking inwards

Businesses are finding tangible ways to give back – but only because consumers demand it