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.
Can we get this straight? Depression is more than just sadness – it's a serious condition that has an impact on both physical and mental health. Depression is not necessarily brought on by any certain event or distressing circumstance. Rather it often manifests without any determinable trigger. The mental illness can be brought on by a series of genetic and biological factors, as well as from other illnesses. It is a chronic and often debilitating mental illness that can affect all aspects of a person's life. From social interactions, to work, school, and even their home life and their overall view of themselves.
Most depressed people are not suicidal but most suicidal people are depressed.
For teenagers, causes of mental illnesses are multi-faceted. For example, the normal
developmental changes of these years, such as bodily changes, new patterns of thoughts and feelings, can be unsettling and overwhelming. There are social changes too, like changing schools, the pressure of final exams, the prospect of leaving home to start tertiary studies or a job; as well as other stress factors such as family issues, changes in their friend networks, and the pressure to
The truth is, suicide is 100% preventable and it rarely happens without warning.
Let’s help our young people by familiarising ourselves with the symptoms of depression and supporting them. We need to stop invalidating their pain with our ignorance.
Depression does not discriminate, young or old, poor or rich, we can get affected by it.
I am hoping 2019 would be the year we make breakthrough against this illness. Enough is enough. No story should end too soon because of depression.
To all the young people thinking it is the end I would like to say; stay strong, your story isn’t over yet. Depression and anxiety are lying to you. You are beautiful, worthy and victorious.
Hey there, My name is Dikeledi and I reside in Johannesburg, South Africa.