- Lungiswa Khotseng has struggled with mental health issues since she was a teenager.
- She didn't know why she had "strange" thoughts until she was older and diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
- When she stopped taking her medication, she tried to end her life, and she had an uncontrollable sex drive, which almost ruined her marriage.
- However, taking her treatment has made a huge difference to her health and improved her well-being enormously.
At first, Lungiswa Khotseng didn't know what was wrong with her. As a teenager, she spent years having what she can only identify as "strange feelings".
When she grew older she got to understand that she had bipolar disorder. "I didn't know what was wrong with me, but I could feel that something was off. I tried to get help, but no one understood my situation," she says, describing her situation before her diagnosis in 2011.
There was a lot of loneliness along the way and not knowing who turn to.
"As a teenager, I would feel like there was a dark cloud hanging over me. I would think about death all the time. In my mind, I would be busy planning how my funeral would be. I didn't know what was wrong with me, but I realised these were not good thoughts to have," she says.
Lindiwe got married at the age of 24, however the time she thought she would be the happiest turned out to be the opposite. She was young and could not wait for the next exciting chapter of her life.
"In the process of preparing for the wedding, these feelings got worse. I was not happy, and I was feeling deep sadness. I was confused because I thought I would be happier since it was my wedding," she says.
Soon after her wedding, Lungiswa and her husband had their first child together and had their second one three years later.
"After giving birth for the first time, I got worse symptoms. I was diagnosed with postnatal depression. I felt this deep sadness at that time, and I thought the best way was to end my life," she says. "From there, I started treatment, and the symptoms got worse. It was only after two to three years that I began to feel better."
This would not be the end of Lungiswa's mental health challenges as she soon stopped taking her medication and suffered the severe consequences of the decision.
"The biggest mistake I made was to stop taking my medication. I started to have strange behavior that almost ruined my marriage, and I had an uncontrollable sex drive. I knew that I was not like that and no one could hear me out," she says.
The frustration of what was happening got to her and she tried to commit suicide and was taken to the hospital where the doctor told her she had bipolar disorder.
"Now I'm taking my medication, I go to the gym, and I'm okay. I wish people who have been or are where I was could know more about this monster called mental illness," she tells us.
Lindiwe now takes her prescribed medication, and her mental health is stable.
If you or someone you know needs help, SADAG has a WhatsApp counselling line that operates from 9:00 to 16:00: 076 882 2775
To speak to a SADAG counsellor you can call 0800 567 567
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