WINDHOEK-Mental illness has a long history of being stigmatized in societies around the globe. This condition varies from person to person which causes a serious disorder in a person’s behaviour or thinking ranging from Bipolar and related disorders, depressive and anxiety disorders just to mention a few.
Entertainment Now! spoke to Damara Dikding who went through a stage of depression and was on a verge of self destruct not too long ago.’’My situation was personal loss and grieving which led to my depression. I did not know I was going through that cause in a black society it’s taboo. People think it’s a white thing which it’s not’’ he said.
He started asking and being open about the situation that lead to him noticing he had issues.’’It’s very important for you to know with what you dealing with in order for you to put your life in order. If you live in ignorance that is when you start living in denial, you start losing track of reality. Luckily for me, I started opening up and with help from loved ones I started coping and dealing with it day by day,’’ he explained.
Laurika Williams who is a Multimedia Specialist and radio presenter at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) was diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorder in 1998 she was distraught when she was informed of her condition.’’It was very frightening to be handed a diagnosis with big words which I did not understand. I was very fortunate to have a very strong family support system especially my sister who understood my condition’’she said.
Williams hates calling the disease a disability or an illness she says its a disorder which is very common.’’It’s been a rough road but very rewarding because it has forced me to come to grips with certain fears and insecurities which I would not have investigated or identified’’ she explained.
The bubbling personalty feels that it’s a life long journey of self-discovery. Mental illness in her opinion is not a crippling disease which is manageable and any person can seek treatment for it even at state health institutions to have a very long rewarding life.
Dr Kenny Hepundjua, who has a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees, (MBChB) from Stellenbosch says that anyone that has had experience with mental illness, personally or professionally, can tell you that despite advances in psychiatry and psychology, there is a great deal of stigma that remains.
‘’In many African cultures, mental illnesses are not recognized and witchcraft is mostly the sole explanation. Many people go on without the right treatment for the above reason.
Self-perceived stigma- involves an internalized stigma that the person with the mental illness suffers from. This leads to poorer treatment outcomes’’ he said.
2019-11-01 09:18:06 | 10 months ago