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