The stigma is everywhere in this part of the world

My late brother and I were working together in the hospitality sector, running a bar. We were making good money. So, I advised my brother, we should build a house. We worked together on it for more than two years. It was a three bedroom flat each… on one plot.

That’s around the time I started seeing things differently from reality. I thought people were controlling my lights… but no one was there. I was hearing voices. 

Sharing my story makes things easier

I was diagnosed with depression during my final year of medical school. Since then it’s been a struggle of relapses and recovery. Sharing my story makes things easier. If I tell you my experience it’s easier for you to share yours.

I remember I wrote a sort of suicide note when I was 12. At that age I self-harmed as well. I didn’t speak to anyone about how I was feeling. What was I going to say? 

That was the first time I started feeling something wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what it was. Even at medical school, I still couldn’t figure it out.

Mental health is still spoken about really badly in Kenya

The diagnosis of bipolar eight years ago was a huge relief because I finally knew what was wrong with me. I was so relieved because I said – ok, so I am not lazy, I’m not erratic, I’m not unfocused. I’m sick. 

I got the diagnosis before I got married. My then boyfriend (now husband) was ok with it. But some of the people in his circle were like, “no, no, no, no… you should not get married to her, how you will be able to cope with her condition?” 

This is not a conversation had in any Indian household. Ever.

I come from a typical Indian family, where in the past, mental health was simply not a topic for discussion. Today, I  help connect hundreds of people with therapists and direct them to basic mental health resources. Here’s a slice of my journey:

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