When you live with depression, you become very good at hiding your feelings and wearing a mask. Depression doesn’t have a face.
Sometimes you try hard to overcompensate with exaggerated optimism. At other times you can’t get the energy up to socialise at all and you withdraw completely for a few weeks.
But things will change. You’re not alone. No matter who you are, there are people who care. You will get through the lows, but it’s easier with people supporting you. In the meantime, it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to admit you need help. You’re human.
If you need to talk to someone, call the South African Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837.
On World Suicide Prevention Day, 10 September 2017, the Movember South Africa Association placed 146 pairs of shoes across Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town. In South Africa, 540 men die by suicide EVERY MONTH. That’s 126 every week or 18 every day. To commemorate them and raise awareness of male mental health issues, The Movember Association invited members of the press to the exhibition to learn about depression in men. These shoes were then donated to the Haven Night Shelter in Cape Town.
The only way to reduce stigma and give men the confidence to seek treatment is to show that it’s okay to not be okay. If you are thinking about suicide, talk to someone. You are not alone. Call the South African Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567.
1) The average life expectancy for South African men is almost four years less than for women.
2) 1 in 6 South African men will be diagnosed with cancer during their lives.
3) Men are five times more likely to commit suicide than women, but are half as likely to seek help for their depression.
4) About 40% of men in South Africa were reported as being overweight or obese in 2013.
The Movember Foundation has published tips and guidelines to help men look after their health and identify danger signs. Please share them and make a donation so that we can work together to keep our men healthy.