When I become delusional I and believe that I am the most hated person, can you make me believe otherwise?
When everything I feel is proof that no one loves me, can you sway me from this conviction?
When I reject every word that comes from you, can you make me still believe in you?
In my delusion, I possess the truth and everyone else is false.
When I become too difficult to be loved, would you still love me and stay with me? When I forget how cheerful and hopeful my life used to be, would you help me get back to that reality?
In my state of delusion, would you love me enough?
Musings of a troubled mind
How best can you promote a cause you have no experience with? How can people trust you as a confidant if you have no idea how they feel and cannot really connect with them on the problem you are trying to help them address? I have been asking myself these questions ever since I began this campaign on Depression. For one, I have not been clinically diagnosed, although I have had times when going on was not an option and everything becomes overwhelmingly impossible for me to do. I do speak to a couple of people about it, but that is it. I’ve never seen a doctor about it, and that’s where the story ends for me.
The closest I came to dealing with depression was when I met someone going through therapy after diagnosis. She is on the road to recovery. But it is not an easy one because she can’t openly talk about her condition without being tagged as a nagger, an attention seeker and someone trying to play the victim. Compounded to her worries, is the fact that her mom sees it as one of her teenage dramas, and not a condition that needs medical attention, and makes it very difficult for her.
After all is said and done, I may not be an expert on the case but that doesn’t in anyway undermine the fact that there is so much stigma attached to depression and it is about time we had open discussions about it. And so for the good of everyone, it will be one day and one experience at a time. My questions are legit and they may be the driving forces that will push me beyond my comfort zone to question the status quo and also change the perception about mental health.
Why don’t you get involved? Share your experiences with us by sending them to “Tok2someone@gmail.com”. We will be glad to hear from you.
For someone who never had a personal encounter with someone battling depression, that was my first opinion when I met Frank. I hastily drew the conclusion that he didn’t get enough attention from his close relatives and therefore used depression to court attention from his friends. But after years of knowing him, I still find it hard to draw the link between this smart, intelligent guy who inspires me a lot and the guy battling depression.
Frank is a typical example of a smart person. He knows his stuff and you could never give him falsified information because he was always quick to challenge the authenticity of things you tell him. You need to be on top of your game to have a level-headed conversation with him. But on days, when he talks to me about his episodes, he is an entirely different person, it is like I never know who this person is.
For a smart person like him, his constant fear is what people think of him, and that, in my opinion, is the cause of his distress. He believes more in what others think of him than what he thinks of himself. Only if he believed in himself. I may never come to fully comprehend his condition, but I am glad he has a friend in me he could talk to.
My name is Afrika and I’m a 23-year-old musician who was diagnosed with bipolar a little over two months ago.
Pre-diagnosis I kept up a busy life holding down three jobs as well as trying to climb the music industry ladder. My illness affected me by driving me to become over productive, filling my entire day with work, anxiety when not working, manic episodes and irritation. On the 4th of November 2013, I was admitted into hospital with hypermania, I stayed there for 2 months.
Whilst in hospital I found my preconceptions of mentally ill patients were strongly challenged. There weren’t padded cells, straight jackets or people being held down. But rather determined people working through their own issues by talking and coming up with a recovery plan with a specialist team of nurses, occupational therapists and psychiatrists.
‘There weren’t padded cells, straight jackets or people being held down. ‘
Outside the safety of the hospital I had fears about work that people would think I was faking my illness mainly because it’s not something you can see. I feared I would be treated differently in my music work, that parents would be concerned about me being left alone with their child whilst teaching them. I never told my employers about my diagnosis or why I was admitted into hospital, I just said I was recovering from stress. I believed that if they knew they wouldn’t take me back or would think I would be a danger to the students. My experience of informing people about my condition tends to be that I’m surrounded by friends who are walking on eggshells worrying about what could trigger a downwards spiral of my mental health.
I feared I would be treated differently in my music work
It’s too early to say whether I am getting better or what recovery looks like for me but I manage life by throwing myself back into my work
and trying to progress each day.What would make things easier is if I could be kinder to myself and if people could be kinder to each other and for friends to keep being understanding and supportive, but not oversensitive to my condition.
I believe people who have experienced mental health difficulties almost have a duty to break the stereotypes of mental health patients as being dangerous, irredeemably mad and useless. This could be done by re-engaging with friends, families and neighbours and talking about their conditions where appropriate and becoming just another member of the diverse communities that form our world.
‘..people who have experienced mental health difficulties almost have a duty to break the stereotypes of mental health patients as being dangerous, irredeemably mad and useless.’
Talking about depression makes me feel understood and makes me know that I am not alone. Don’t be quick to judge me. I had a life all figured out, before this battle to keep going began. I am going through an uphill mental battle and would need you to help and support me through it. I am irrational, not unintelligent. I had been trying to stay strong for too long and never considered myself weak. I wish I could get better and live my life to the full like everyone else, but I cannot simply snap out of it. I need your understanding and support, not your judgment, I have already done enough of that to myself.
Be supportive, do not be judgmental!!!!
The night before was no different from the previous nights in the last few weeks, feeling exhausted and weary from doing nothing. But then, I was hopeful, believing that I would wake up feeling better and with renewed energy, after all, I had listened to several messages telling me anything was possible with the right mindset and I just needed the willpower to overcome it, perhaps I could even work on my assignment.
But all I had the following morning, was a meaningless memory of the hopeful persona I was the night before and my only desire was to waste away in bed. I wished I could at least take a shower or get something to eat from my kitchen in the basement of my apartment (a deed which had become dreadful in that instance), but even these had become for me tedious everyday tasks I could no longer do. And there I was, cradled like a baby in the arms of depression and I couldn’t get free.
I was entangled, and in its grips and my branches would never sway freely in the wind. I had fallen prey to this vine of depression. In that moment, I knew I was never going to come out alive. I needed more than willpower to live, (not mine, but someone’s), I needed someone to hold me up and tell me they would stay with me through this, I needed a constant reminder that I was not a lost cause, that someday, somehow, I would find my roots and blossom again, and like a bird set free from its cage, I would fly and touch the skies.