THE D-WORD

DRUM - - Ed's Notes -

Speak out about de­pres­sion. De­pres­sion doesn’t see race, creed, re­li­gion, colour or gen­der. No one is spared be­cause it can af­fect any of us (A gi­ant has fallen, 8 Novem­ber).

It’s sad that there’s no proper ver­nac­u­lar word that ex­plains what de­pres­sion is, what it means and what causes it. We of­ten re­fer to it as a “white peo­ple’s sick­ness” and many of us are un­cer­tain what it means.

When it does af­fect us, we live in de­nial be­cause – just like the HIV/Aids pan­demic – many of us are scared to ask for help as we fear we’ll be judged. Lead­ing aca­demics, en­ter­tain­ers and many amaz­ing tal­ents have suc­cumbed to de­pres­sion. Most of us turn to al­co­hol or drugs to cope but this will never be a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion if we don’t seek help.

Con­trary to the isiZulu and Se­pedi say­ings “In­doda kayikhali-monna ga lile (A man never cries)”, there’s noth­ing more dan­ger­ous than bottled up emo­tions. Talk to some­one be­cause there’s help out there.

We have trauma coun­sel­l­ors, dep­res­sion and anx­i­ety sup­port groups and so­cial work­ers who are all there to help us. It’s about time we take de­pres­sion se­ri­ously. MCDIVETT KHUMBULANI TSHEHLA, HALF­WAY HOUSE

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