DR. ANNE-MARIE POTGIETER: Psychiatrist in Private Practice in Pretoria. Expert in children and depression. Many ideas on self-help opportunities for people with depression.
GODFREY BHEMBE: 20 Years Old. He has been suffering from depression since 1990 when his grades started going down. He has since matriculated and he failed his first year in tertiary. He now feels very tired all the time and he can’t function properly anymore, and he wants to cancel his studies so that he can sit and do nothing.
DERRICK MAKOA: 20 Years Old. Suffered from depression since December 1997 due to the loss of his girlfriend he trusted so much. He is still suffering from it because he says he is not able to form a stable relationship anymore and he gets very annoyed very quickly with everyone and this lets him down all the time.
AGNES DONGA: 23 Years old. Used to suffer from depression, after she found out that the father of her baby was cheating on her. Then she couldn’t function at all because she used to drink alcohol so much that all she could do was to sleep and forget about her problems. She got better after a few sessions with a psychiatrist and getting a new boyfriend that she can’t. If it wasn’t her mother who noticed there was something wrong with her, she wouldn’t be here today, because she had suicidal thoughts. Also talking to Therry at the Support Group helped because she then found out that she was not alone with her illness.
FAITH MALINGA: 43 Years Old. Mother of two. Masters in Sociology. Severely depressed. Clinical Depression (chemical imbalance). Diagnosed in USA in 1980. Despite high intellect, cannot hold down a permanent job because of the depression. Depression has affected her relationships. Is not supported by friends, who do not understand her depression.
THABO MALAPANE: 21 Years Old. Clinical Depression (genetically predisposed). Busy completing computer course through Cathorus Computer Training School. A series of life incidents triggered depression (loss of a loved one, family problems, car accident). Currently on medication. Depression has affected relationships – friends do not understand. He has become increasingly isolated.
MAKHOSAZANA KHNYILE: 20 Years Old. Suffers from social phobia and depression because when she was very young she was called bad names, and has viewed her parents as bad people since. She has a low self esteem and sees herself the way she has been called. She can’t socialise properly and usually breaks down crying, which makes her even more depressed. She also wants to leave home as soon as possible.
NOMTHANDASO NKOSI: 21 years Old. Clinical Depression. Two suicide attempts in one year after row with parents. In 1991 her sister was killed in front of her. She has managed to stabilise her depression; has been on medication. The depression still disrupts her work and relationships.
JOYCE RAPHIRI: 50 years Old. Hijacked 5 times between 1992 and 1997. Consequently, has developed panic attacks, absolute fear of driving on highways. She has learnt coping skills which enable her to manage feelings of anxiety. However, her anxiety has led to related feelings of depression and helplessness. She is a committed member of the Support Group, which has helped her tremendously.
DUMISANG MAAMA: 17 Years Old. Suffered from mild depression because his grades were very low and now he is attending a school on Saturdays and studying every day. His grades have gone up and he now feels better.
SHARON BOTTS: 20 years Old. Student at Wits. Been depressed for about two years. Now receiving treatment and functioning and coping well.
ANDY JARED: 16 years Old. Has suffered from depression for two years. Was very suicidal. Had to be hospitalised – now attending school.
SARAH SHAW: 20 Years Old. Depressed for the last two and a half years, six suicide attempts. Hospitalised twice. Still suffering from depression.
FIKILE MNGUNI: 29 Years Old. Teacher by profession. Survived three rapes, physical abuse and divorce. Going through a second divorce and lost everything she owned. Re-located to Johannesburg, is jobless, homeless and staying with friends. Enjoys writing and painting, but has not done anything since becoming depressed.
JABU MNGOMEZULU: 24 Years Old. Brother was a member of the Support Group. He committed suicide in March. They lost their father in January this year and a month later his brother’s fiancé left him and took their child with her. A month later he committed suicide.
THANDI NKOSI: 34 Years Old. Has suffered from Panic Attacks for many
years, not knowing what was wrong with her, until she read in “YOU” magazine about panic attacks. She contacted the group and was referred to a psychiatrist who put her on medication. Before treatment she could not attend any social gatherings for fear of dropping dead. When driving she had to travel at high speed in order to reach her destination quickly for fear of getting attacks while driving. She is now on treatment and feels much better.
INGRID WOERMAN: Would like to raise the issue of responsibility concerning suicide and depressed patients. Should psychiatrists be responsible for letting family members know that a patient has suicidal tendencies. Her husband had manic depression for about 20 years and committed suicide last year September.