Dawn Thandeka King is the most recent celebrity to open up about her battle with depression. The actress shared an emotional story about how her mental condition led to her hospitalisation.
Dawn has been one of South Africa’s most entertaining celebrities for a number of years and she isn’t afraid of pushing her workload to the limit. However, this, coupled with ongoing depression and anxiety troubles, eventually took a toll on her.
Dawn stars in Mzansi Magic’s hit drama, Lockdown and is also a fan favourite on SABC 1’s Uzalo. Add this to a bubbling music career and a full time job as a mother and wife, and you’ll quickly realise that she has a lot on her plate.
Speaking to TshisaLive, she revealed that the hectic schedule and mental problems led to her eventual breakdown: “The environment, anxiety, exhaustion – you name it. My body fell apart and I was back in hospital again. Even though I was doing well in my career, my body needed rest and so it shut down. I couldn’t move. It was a difficult place to be in (mentally). I was in hospital for a week and a half.”
It was this most recent stint in hospital that inspired her to finally start speaking about her condition in the hope that it will help someone else
She added in the interview: “Every time I was hospitalised and not moving away from the fact that it could happen again, I wondered if people understand this condition called depression.
“You need to admit to yourself that you are struggling so that you can accept help. I chose to talk about it because talking about it is the best way to heal.”
Like many others, especially in South Africa, Dawn has advocated for a greater understanding of depression
For those who come from African households, conditions such as depression are often dismissed under the guise of such excuses as “black people can’t suffer from depression”.
“It [depression] is not understood. You think you can pray it away or just change your thinking. I remember lying in hospital and the cleaning staff would come past and say ‘be strong. Think positive thoughts’. I thought: ‘do you even know anything about what I am going through?’ You can’t pray it away. You need to face it head on and prayer can help, but it is not just going to fix it.”
Dawn Thandeka King has found greater solace and mental strength after exercising regular meditation
If you or someone you know has suffered from depression, it is never a good idea to remain silent. Speaking out can be the first step towards finding the help you deserve.