‘How my life became a living hell’ Published: May 30, 2009
HOPEFUL: Durban nurse Rosanna Ramnandan has made 30 attempts to end her life as a result of being affected by bipolar disorderPicture: JACKIE CLAUSEN Article Tools Save and Share
IT WAS a failed relationship that led a young nurse to attempt to take her life about 30 times.
It was also this lowest point of Rosanna Ramnandan’s life that led her to discover that she suffered from bipolar disorder, a mental illness characterised by epi- sodes of emotional highs and lows.
“I was constantly depressed and had terrible mood swings. I tried every method possible to kill myself, including taking high doses of insulin intravenously.
“When my relationship ended, I slumped into the lowest of lows. It took me months to recover and I now find it difficult to trust men,” said
Ramnandan, 32, who is one of several South Africans who this week took a stand to raise awareness of the illness on Bipolar Day, which was observed internationally on Tuesday this week.
The disorder affects between three to four percent of the South African population. However the figure is believed to be much higher as the condition is largely undiagnosed.
Ramnandan said she began presenting signs of depression during her matric year, but never thought it was a serious issue.
“My family doctor diagnosed me as manic depressive. But I never took it seriously and thought that it would pass. My condition worsened where I sometimes felt withdrawn and at other times felt invincible, which got me into a lot of trouble.
“I found comfort in shopping. I had no limits and the debts piled up. I am currently under debt review where I have spent close to R200000 and am unable to account for it.”
Ramnandan said she also had to overcome her family’s initial difficulty in accepting her illness, which compounded her depressive state.
“At first, my parents did not understand what I was going through and found it difficult to accept my erratic behaviour. They did not want to tell people about my condition and insisted that I did not mention anything about the disorder, especially to family members.
“The fact that I was diagnosed with a mental illness was enough for them to feel embarrassed. But I eventually made them understand that there was no reason to hide it from the world.”
Her employer, she said, also victimised her when she informed them of her condition.
“Being a healthcare professional, you would think that my colleagues would understand my situation and be more supportive. But that was not the case. I was victimised, teased, threatened and asked to resign.”
She claimed a senior matron at one of the hospitals she worked at threatened to hire her private lawyer to have Ramnandan “kicked out” of the profession.
“They called me “bipolar” instead of by my name. It was humiliating. But I managed to overcome the verbal abuse and persevered.”
Spokesman for the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), Cassey Amoore said: “Bipolar disorder typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life, but it can start at any age and affects men and women, irrespective of race and religion.”
IN THE WORKPLACE
New Research on Depression in the Workplace.
For more information please click here
To subscribe to SADAG's newsletter, click here
Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's
Click here for more info on articles & how to subscribe
Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted. We depend on written communication for information, guidance, and access to heath care information That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way information is delivered to low literacy communities. It's exactly what it sounds like.a book that talks to the reader in his or her local language, delivering critical information in an interactive, and educational way.
The customizable 16-page book, accompanied by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood..
We started with books on Teen Suicide prevention , HIV, AIDS and Depression, Understanding Mental Health and have developed over 30 titles, such as TB, Malaria, Polio, Vaccines for over 30 countries.
- Click here to see speaking books in action
- Click here for sample book on clinical trials
- Click here for latest press release 1.
- Click here for latest press release 2.
- Click here to connect to international site www.booksofhope.com
- Speaking books for Health Care YouTube
How my Life became a Living Hell
‘How my life became a living hell’ Published: May 30, 2009
Dr Reddy's Help Line
0800 21 22 23
Pharmadynamics Police &Trauma Line
0800 20 50 26
Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline
0800 70 80 90
Destiny Helpline for Youth & Students
0800 41 42 43
0800 55 44 33
Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline
0800 12 13 14
Suicide Crisis Line
0800 567 567
SADAG Mental Health Line
011 234 4837
Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour
0861 435 787
Cipla Mental Health Helpline
0800 456 789
MENTAL HEALTH CALENDAR 2018
Teen Suicide Prevention Week
11 - 18 February
Bipolar Awareness Day
Substance Abuse Awareness Day
Mental Health Awareness Month
1 – 31 July
Panic Awareness Day
World Suicide Prevention Day
World Mental Health Day
View our list of informative Infographs.
SADAG KZN Branch
SADAG have launched a new office in Durban with the support of Psychiatrist Dr Suvira Ramlall and Clinical Psychologist, Suntosh Pillay.
The offices are placed in St Joseph’s Hospital and are managed by Lyn Norton.
The KZN Branch is deeply committed to;
- Launching new Support Groups
- Workshops on aspects of Mental Health
- School Talks on Suicide Prevention
- Corporate Wellness For KZN companies
Please click here for more information about the KZN activities.
Want to become a volunteer counsellor? Contact Michelle/Christine 0800 21 22 23
Download Application Form Here
If you are interested in starting a Support Group, please contact Michelle on 0800 21 22 23.
To find a Support Group in your area, please phone SADAG on 0800 21 22 23.
If you are a journalist writing a story contact Cassey on
011 234 4837 /firstname.lastname@example.org