In 2013 I was struggling with a bout of depression. Looking back I think it was a frustrating time in terms of my career ambitions and choices, my fiancee and I were fighting, my fuse was non-existent and I had lost interest in things that used to excite me.

I had stopped taking my anti-depressants, making the common mistake of stopping with guidance from a professional.

It reached a point where I remember sitting at the foot of our bed one morning after yet another argument. I turned to Tracey and said " I'll understand if you want to move in with your mom for a while." which was received as well as you'd expect.

Tracey was running out ideas and in her research on how to help me she found this video. It was a relationship saver.

What this video did for both Tracey and I was groundbreaking. Never having dealt with someone suffering from depression, the condition confused Tracey somewhat. She would ask questions like "Things are going well, we have a great relationship, we have a nice place, you have a nice car, a job... Why aren't you happy?"

Here are some things to help if you find yourself in a situation like this:

  • Happy is not the opposite of depressed

  • Depression is a condition just like a heart problem, or bad bone density. It's nobody's fault

  • If you had a dodgy heart - you would seek help and take medication for it. Depression is the same

  • Depression is not a sign of weakness, or an inability to cope with 'life'

  • One in four South Africans are affected by depression and anxiety. We just don't talk about it.

  • The person suffering with depression may not even recognise it's happening

  • Depression makes the person with it, not want to find a solution to the issue. They may feel that there is no point, or that they are not worth helping. Imagine being stuck in a well and not having the energy or motivation to shout for help, or even grab the rope that can pull you out.

  • Be there. Just listen. Don't judge. Don't tell them "it's not so bad",

  • There is help out there. Free call centres, councillors, social workers, psychologists... they are WANT to HELP you.

  • Ask for help, and ALLOW people to help you - it's as rewarding for them as it is for you.

  • Click this button below for a list of helpful resources, and good luck. You are worth the effort.

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