Life is fucking hard sometimes. It gets overwhelming at times, one minute you have it all together, your hair is growing, your body is performing at its best levels, you are well, mind-body and soul you are "glowed up". You are able to deal and combat whatever comes your way, you pick yourself up and move on. I am one of those irritatingly optimistic people, everything happens for a reason type, always finding a silver lining, you get the point, right? The glass is always half full.
Then BAM! out of nowhere, something shakes up your entire foundation and the aftermath is far worse than the real quake. The devastation leaves you wanting nothing than to cover yourself under a pile of blankets. In the dark and in constant emotional turmoil that even you can't put into words and break down to anyone else. Nobody gets it. People have expectations you must be awake, smiling and joyous. So, you default to acting. Your days become an entire performance, characterized by forced frozen smiles, painted on joy with makeup tricks, upbeat persona constructed through carefully chosen clothes and superficial emotions.
There is a lot of content on the net that aims to help you when the light goes dim in your life. Tools, talks, and riveting reads that resonate with one and with every line read confirm your own experiences. However, with such a plethora of information and experiences shared through meaningful art and inspired words. When the cloud comes over you, the world caves in, you are on your own and everybody else seems to shut you out of their warm, vibrant energy. Everyone but you are walking on sunshine and all you do is absorb all the gloom. Plagued by sleepless nights or the constant need to slumber. The world is a dark place full of hopelessness. What makes this condition worse, is the careless giving of unsolicited advice and phrases thrown around by those close to you.
"Snap out of it," they say.
"That is not a real thing, you just know too much," they say.
"It is all in your head," she says.
"That is for people with money," he jokes
But depression and anxiety are real scourges of society. They haunt you even when you are feeling better. That the thought of falling into depression again is terrifying. For anxiety, anything and everything feel like a possible trigger.
According to South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) around a fifth (20%) of all South Africans will experience a depressive disorder at least once during their lifetime and the incidence of the suicide in South Africa has soared to 23 a day.
"The biggest problem was the lack of treatment in public health institutions and the stigma attached to mental health
South African is in the bottom four of countries providing mental health treatment, with 75% of clinic staff who do not have a caring attitude." Read more here
This could end in a 5 step guide to dealing with depression and ending anxiety but, the oversimplification of mental disorders make it impossible for us as a society to truly find possible ways of dealing and managing the conditions. So, bye bye.