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.
Months after I started studying, I found myself in this dark hole which I couldn’t understand. I started losing interest in my studies and had feelings of inferiority, worthlessness, isolation, confusion, unattractive with depreciating self-esteem to list a few. All this resulted with poor grades in my studies. I later dropped out.
Although this was a positive life event in my life, the following are some of the factors which contributed to my downward spiral;
I was born and bred in the rural areas and suddenly, I had to relocate to a big city to start a new life. I resided at the varsity residence and some of the challenges I encountered were peer pressure and language barrier. I found it hard to make friends.
The level of stress which came with the studies was high. Having went to school in the rural areas, we were not provided with career counselling. At that time, I honestly didn’t even know what the degree was all about. (I had only applied because I qualified for the scholarship.)
The stress overwhelmed my coping system and I started developing symptoms such as failure, isolation and suicidal thoughts.
I experienced handful depression episodes in my life and I learned the value of talking to people about my feelings. It doesn’t have to be your family or friends. You may call suicide prevention helpline, find a professional and support groups. There are always people who can help you.
One of the main reasons I started a support group organisation is to be there for people going through a dark place. .
As I always say, there is hope. If you have doubts, look at me – depression couldn’t keep me down.
If you would like to chat, please do contact me.
Sending strength your way
Hey there, My name is Dikeledi and I reside in Johannesburg, South Africa.