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Others say you are acting (u ya actor), you are seeking for attention (u funa i attention). They don’t take it seriously. .
(Mpumalanga, Female 18-25)
Masiviwe - struggling to cope

If you have a mental health condition, you are not acting or looking for attention. The term mental health condition refers to a medical condition that can present in different ways, and commonly involve changes in emotions, thinking or behaviour. If you have a mental health condition it is diagnosed by a medical professional. There are many different types of mental health conditions that can affect anyone. But they are treatable with the right care and/or medication.

What causes a mental health condition?

People need to know that people who have mental health problems aren’t crazy

(Gauteng Female 18-25)

A number of factors can contribute to being at risk of getting a mental health condition. These include things such as

  • Trauma or a history of abuse
  • Experiences related to other ongoing (chronic) medical conditions.
    For example HIV, cancer or diabetes.
  • Biological or genetic factors which are conditions passed on from parents to their children
  • Chemical imbalances in the brain.
  • Use of alcohol or drugs

The beliefs of our family, religion or culture can sometimes prevent us from getting help. What is important is you know that none of this means that you’re broken, bewitched, or that you, or your family, did something “wrong.” Mental health condition is no one’s fault. And for many people, recovery is possible.

Recovery is possible when you:

  • Reach out for help early
  • Start and stick to your treatment
  • Play an active role in your own recovery process.
Masiviwe - struggling to cope