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Depression and the Kenyan Society.


Depression doesn’t have to lead to Suicide.

Romanticizing Death

I read Fatmata Conteh’s ‘ letter to my sisters. Her main character N’damba was trying to justify her reasons for taking her own life. I enjoyed the story. I was almost convinced that taking one’s own life isn’t such a bad thing after all. She outlined her reasons for doing it. She wanted to make a bold statement,to stop the hardships that women underwent in their male-dominated society. To put an end to it all. To put an end to the things she couldn’t agree with. But what she forgot was that she didn’t put an end to anything. She just ended herself. Also, Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why … ends in Hannah, the teenage main character choosing to end her life. The series has been blamed for encouraging suicide attempts by romanticizing death.

The issues I have with content such as this and other writings on suicide is that they tend to romanticize the act. Those that took their lives are somewhat portrayed as heroes. They have every reason and are justified to do so. It, not a bad thing to write about that. But what about the effect that these stories have on those that are suicidal? What of those that are struggling with depression? What effect will such stories have on them? Won’t they feel justified that taking their lives too will transform their current low points into highest highs?

Emotions are never discussed

That aside one thing that I noticed about being raised in a Kenyan home is that emotions were never discussed. If you felt low and depressed you’ll keep it to yourself till you are “okay”. And this is the case in most homes. And most times people ignore emotional health, or let alone we never know how to handle these issues. I’m not here to tell you how to handle those issues. I’m not a shrink and I have no clue either how to. But one thing I know for sure after encountering my lowest low in life is that our emotional health matters a lot.
They are as important as our physical health. How many times have you heard that emotional wounds are the hardest to heal? Yet how many times have people told you to
“Ooh you’ve been heartbroken, Aaah just shake it off you’ll be fine” and why don’t they say the same thing when you’ve had a broken leg, or had a deep cut?

Don’t ignore anything.

Maybe you just lost your job, maybe you just lost someone you love, the loneliness is killing you or maybe your self-esteem just hit its lowest point and you just can’t handle the depression anymore. Maybe your heights are even greater than these. Just don’t ignore anything.

Man Up are campaigning for Australian men to face up to mental health problems.Man Up is encouraging people to share the ad, speak up and encourage others to speak up, and most importantly listen when they do. The ad joins the ManUp.org.au website to form a wider social campaign. The three-part documentary series was funded by the Movember Foundation and University of Melbourne.

I’m cracked

I know we are Africans and it’s said blacks don’t crack, we are not talking about aging and beauty, Blacks don’t crack emotionally, they just don’t go to therapy. But I’m cracked. (ignorance)Yet I have no idea if the hospital that I have been going to since I was a kid has a psychological wing.(money) I hear that therapy sessions cost a ton lot of money. I have no clue if that’s covered by my government issued medical cover? (society)I don’t know if people will call me crazy when they hear I started seeing a therapist. (religion)My mom will say “ Why are you going to the hospital? Just pray over it and go to church. You’ll be fine”
And when I finally go to therapy, I really hope that,that armchair is as good, that therapist is as hot and those sessions are as awesome as they are portrayed in the movies.



If you enjoyed this story then please share on Facebook and Twitter.If you agree or strongly disagree with what I say feel free to comment.Thank you.

By Mbongo Rainer

Rainer Mbongo, Technical Lead

A Mathematics and Computer Science Graduate. I love all things computer science and Maths. I'm the technical lead for theDoctor.co.ke

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