Here is a story of Gerald, explains how asking for help inspired him to be more open about mental wellbeing as part of our series aiming to reduce societal stigma around mental health
My experience with depression has made me an optimist.
It sounds like a complete contradiction but what I really mean is that my experience of mental ill health gives me hope that Ugandan society is becoming more open about talking about and taking action on mental health. I hope that, by sharing my own story, I can contribute in a small way toward this change.
As in many societies, there’s still a great deal of stigma attached to mental health in Uganda. I believe this is often rooted in a lack of awareness and understanding of mental illness. In my personal experience, I often see those around me looking to their faith to overcome mental health challenges. While this can provide comfort and strength, there’s also a risk that those with clinical mental health conditions may not always get the empathy and professional treatment they need.
Today, I’m able to recognize the triggers that can lead me into depression and I’m a lot more open about talking about how I feel with my friends and family, and this helps relieve the pressure.
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