The recent death of hip-hop star Jabulani Tsambo, AKA HHP, has thrust the issue of depression into the spotlight, and rightfully so.
Unsurprisingly, we have had a similar outpouring of grief, and feigned concern for mental health issues as when top cardiologist Bongani Mayosi took his own life in July, after battling depression.
Keyboard activists even coined a hashtag, #DepressionIsReal. The problem with this overwhelming expression of sympathy, and subsequent social media conversations, is that it's all short-lived. It has also laid bare the misconceptions, myths and half-truths about depression.
Since the outcry has subsided, it's time we have a real, unfiltered and raw account of what it means to have depression.
I am a person living with major depression since 1996. At the time of my diagnosis in 1996, I was at the pinnacle of my "political career" as a student leader. On paper, I was on top of the world. Despite this "success" I was losing it. I had sustained feelings of great unease, agitation, anger, and feelings of being unappreciated.
As far as I was concerned, I was under siege from unknown enemies. I couldn't concentrate on my studies. I had blue days - let me say weeks, or rather years. I had headaches that wouldn't go away, sleepless nights, strange dreams and nightmares.
I couldn't figure out exactly what was eating away at my soul.
After many episodes of losing my cool, I started psychotherapy.