We live in a world of high pressure and demands from both our personal and professional lives. Every day is a constant battle of trying to fit everything in the 24 hours of the day and we forget to rest. We work so hard to reach our goals and we neglect out health in the process.
As someone who struggles major depression and generalized anxiety disorder, I am always on a quest to take better care of myself. I have heard the term “self-care” casually tossed around for years and, until recently, it was pretty elusive for me.
Self-care isn’t all fancy spas or relaxing vacations. It's about being as kind to yourself as you would be to others. It's partly about knowing when your resources are running low, and stepping back to replenish them rather than letting them all drain away.
When you’re depressed, it can be hard to practice self-care though, is essential for winning the battle against depression.
Contrary to popular belief, a decreasing ability to practice depression self-care has absolutely nothing to do with laziness. Depression forces its own ways of thinking, feeling, and doing (or not doing) on people. Therefore, self-care is so vital; self-care helps you begin to rise up out of depression.
Many of us continue to learn life’s most valuable lessons the hard way but the good news is that we are all on a journey. We are constantly learning and gradually evolving from one version to another.
What’s even better to know is that help is available and with a little help we can all grow and develop into the grandest versions of ourselves despite unfavorable circumstances and challenging times.
All of us could surely do with a little help time and again. What my past experiences have taught me up to this far is that most of the time the troubles we face can be likened to a foundational premise that is necessary for the accomplishment of our soul’s purpose.
According to Psychiatric Management Group; 1 in 10 teenage deaths in South Africa are due to suicide. While 20% of high school learners have attempted suicide.
*please take a moment to let that sink*
These are painful statistics and the sad reality we are live in. What is even sadder is the ignorance and shame we as mental illness patients still face daily.
Misunderstanding, ignorance, and fear are at the root of stigmatization, and these factors have inflicted immense suffering on those who are in any way perceived as “not normal”.
The many myths associated with suicide have also contributed to the perseverance of stigma. Notions that people who kill themselves are “cowards” and “selfish” persist to this day, while attempters are often viewed as “attention seekers” who are not to be taken seriously.
My organisation’s model is based solely on people reaching out to us. But the truth is that not everyone who needs help reach out. The big question for me is how do we then help them?
Depression is a vile, consuming, physiological, and life-eclipsing illness of both the body and the mind. It can fill your head with lies; spoken to you in your own voice; telling you that your life is not worth living, that your pain will not end, that you can only end the suffering through self-harm.
Today I would like to talk about why I have decided to bare it all and share my story with possibly the whole world. This has also been the inspiration behind my new non-profit organisation, Lighthouse Support Group.
I have never been one to discuss my depression journey. I found it to be a rather painful topic which I tried very hard to block from my memories. Until recently I have found out that I become empowered every time I verbalize my depression struggle to others. By sharing my suicide survival stories, I am making it known that I am stronger than depression.
I believe I did not go through all of these to remain the same. I really believe that I need to go out there to create mental health awareness and assist those who are struggling. By being vocal with my depression struggles, I believe I can help remove the stigma which is attached to the mental illness. By being vocal with my victory against depression I believe I can inspire others to keep fighting.
The medical definition of depression is a sustained abnormality in a person’s mood, or feelings of despair, hopelessness, and self-hatred lasting for at least two-week period. Depression is common but serious illness.
There is no clear cause for depression but life events such as death of a loved one can trigger depression. While we may associate depression with negative life events, positive life events can also trigger depression. For example, I got a scholarship to further my studies after high school. It was a great opportunity for me and I was looking forward to my new journey.
Today I have attended my son’s open day at his new school which I prayed so hard that he gets admission. It was fantastic experience for both of us, but I suddenly found myself zoned out and worrying about how I am going to afford all these as they told us about all these activities and special projects which are going to need money. At some point I was even starting to think maybe I should look for a cheaper school. Just like that, my thoughts started feeding my anxiety.
But having started to learn to control my thoughts recently, I snapped out of it. I thanked God that my son has made it into one of the best school which will afford him the opportunity to a quality education.
Our brains are future-oriented which tends to make our stress levels to be sky high. Majority of our worries deal with the issues of the future, what will happen tomorrow, next week, next year, etc. Have you ever realised that most of the things we worry about have no immediate solution? Because our brains are designed to prefer immediate results. Anxiety knocks on our doors when this doesn’t not happen! As Lao Tzu puts it; if you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future”
Warning Signs of Suicide
•Direct comments (“I’m going to kill myself”)
•A suicide plan of how, what, where they intend to do it
•Collecting drugs, weapons
•Writing/drawing about death and dying
•Giving away possessions and finalising affairs
•Dramatic changes in mood
•Depression, withdrawal from loved one’s.
•Carelessness, more risk-taking behaviour
•No reason for living, no sense of purpose in life.
Recognise the signs and help save a life.
If you need help, kindly contact us on
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I’m obsessed with taking pictures of sunrise because of what it represents. Every morning we are presented with an opportunity to start afresh and put into practice the lessons we learned from yesterdays. I took the above picture on my recent family vacation in Durban. I stood there mesmerized with the realization of the new opportunities and gifts it brings. All of a sudden I was beaming with excitement and full of hope. And yes what a great day it was!
Dwelling in the past prevent us to move on from our failures and pain. We get so stuck up on how bad we screwed up or how we could’ve done better and as a result we let it define us.
I have learned to forget my past, to forgive myself and begin again – and I must say it has now became easier. I no longer find myself crying in the corner contemplating on how I could’ve done better. The amazing thing about this life is we can always begin again.
Worry is defined as the feel or cause to feel anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems.
I recently found myself worrying myself to death about my upcoming exam. I was worried so much about passing the test that I did more worrying than study!
For some reason we are automatically programmed to what is or could go wrong. It is easier for us to cave in to that automatic inner voice.
I don’t know how many times I lost sleep over something only to have the situation turn out great. I have found out by worrying a lot, I cause stress and anxiety to myself without even knowing it.
I have always thought being a perfectionist was my strength but I am starting to learn that this can also be a weakness. Lets be honest, things are seldom perfect. Disappointments are everywhere. We put too much pressure on ourselves with high up the skies standards.
Hey there, My name is Dikeledi and I reside in Johannesburg, South Africa.