A couple of days ago, to be exact, April 7, I wrote a facebook post below:

I love me. I’m the only one who understands me. I’m proud of me. I fought hard to be me. I’m worthy to love me. I live for me. I love me.I was rejected a countless times. In fact I do not remember a time I stayed with people and they didn’t feel like throwing me out. I was thrown out thrice. In those days, I felt miserable. Tried to kill myself twice and failed.The feeling would just settle inside of me and I would entertain it for days and the next thing I’d curse God and wonder why He created me.In 2012, I was freed from depression. Will tell you what helped me then one of the days but I realised that I was the key to my own happiness. No one and I mean nobody can ever make you happy except yourself. Accept who you are. Short, light, dark, tall, awkward, whatever. Love you! No one is like you!

A few hours after writing the post, I got messages from some people who were desperate to know how I had come out of that dark period of my life. To be exact, one said to me that they didn’t know what self love was and what that meant. I was heartbroken and knew exactly what they are going through.

Causes of Depresssion .

For me,Life events and early childhood experiences played a major role in my succumbing to depression. My early years were spent with one of my parents who at that time were teachers in the country side. They lived apart from each other and used to meet on holidays and weekends. Since they wanted to stay together as a family, they always looked for transfers and accepted places that made them nearer to each other. This meant that we traveled across the country and never stayed long enough at one place. I don’t remember my childhood friends or the places we stayed. I don’t even remember where I went as a first grader. Here and there, I have flushes of the places but can not recall anything beyond that. This also meant that I didn’t build long lasting relationships as we moved quite unexpectedly. Therefore, I lacked stability and I spent half of my life trying to get that from people. Primary school alone, I went to 5 different schools.

That is one of the reasons that made me depressed . Over the years, It became a collection of different experiences that made me to feel utterly worthless, useless ,unlovable and suicidal.

Before we move on, let’s try to understand what depression is.

Understanding Depression.

Sadly, it has been estimated that its a little over 300 million people who are affected by depression in the world today. It is no respecter of persons nor fortune. Do you feel sad,forlon and confused sometimes? That is just a way of dealing with a loss , a normal reaction to life’s struggles , self e-steem issues or a loved one. This shows that the brain is functioning well and is healthy.

However, depression is another case. It can be associated with intense sadness-hopelessness, feeling worthless and helpless. When it becomes an obstacle in your daily activities, then speaking to an expert may just save your life.

What is depression?

It is prolonged feelings of sadness,worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness that can last for days, weeks,months and even years. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. According to WHO,close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.

So, there are many types of depression but I will only explain about 2 types which I think I more or less suffered from. Mental illness is not often talked about especially among Africans as most people consider it as evil spirits or the devil at work. While, I do not dispute that , I feel also that there is major concern in how we handle it.

2 Major Types of Depression

1.Major depression.

This type of depression doesn’t last long, it stays for just a couple of days or 2 weeks at most.

Symptoms:

2.Persistent Depressive Disorder (Disthymia)

This type goes continuously for 2 years.

The person suffers from negative thoughts consistently and doesn’t see anything bright in their environment or life. Everything is all gloom and dark. It becomes sort of a habit for them and these people are certain that its the way of their life.

So, Major depression , also known as clinical depression can affect you either once in a life time or several times in your life . It can be genetic , passed on from generation to generation but sometimes, it can also affect people with no family history of depression.

I don’t think any of my family members were ever treated of depression but later on, I found about about an aunt who got married , got mentally disturbed after having kids and when her husband married another woman. As I mentioned earlier, it is taboo to talk about such things in African families and so, i only found out about it in my early twenties. Everyone is reluctant to talk about her and nobody, even my aunt’s sisters can even utter her name without trembling or shuddering.

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