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Maybe you need to see a psychologist

Earlier this year I went through a traumatic experience which took me three months to recover from. In fact, I sometimes still get anxious when thinking about it (which probably means I’m still recovering). I am glad that I immediately asked for help when the particular incident happened.

I hit up my trusted doctor on social media, Dr Sindi and she suggested a few places where I could get help. I recognised from the onset that I was traumatised and that there was no way that I could just go on with my life without addressing what happened. We need to talk things out, no matter how hard it is.

Friends can be a great form of support, but I have found that I hardly ever bear my entire soul to my friends. I always either withhold certain things from them completely, or I share very selectively, leaving out details that I feel are too sensitive – I absolutely love and trust my friends, but I don’t need everyone knowing all my business.

Attending therapy sessions with a psychologist, who was so far removed from my life, allowed me to be completely vulnerable without feeling like I will get judged later on. I think the fact that she was a black woman made it even better. Black women have always been protectors to us black men, but that is a topic for another day.

I don’t go into detail about what happened, but I make no secret of the fact that I do see a psychologist when I need one and I don’t think any of us should be ashamed of that. Kerry Washington summed it up so well for me in the April 2015 issue of Glamour when she said;

On seeing a therapist

“I say that publicly because I think it’s really important to take the stigma away from mental health. My brain and my heart are really important to me. I don’t know why I wouldn’t seek help to have those things be as healthy as my teeth. I go to the dentist. So why wouldn’t I go to a shrink?”

These final weeks of 2016 are all about self-care for me. I realise that I spend a lot of time pouring into others, but if I don’t take care of my own cup, there will be nothing left in it to pour, so I need to make sure my own cup is full. That way others can benefit from the overflow.

If you need to talk to someone, but feel like you need more than just the empathy that your friends can offer, reach out to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (011 234 4837). They not only give you support and perspective, but can also facilitate the process of helping you deal with your problems practically.

Article written by:

Richmond Sajini is a musician and media entrepreneur in the public relations, television, radio and retail spaces in South Africa. He studied Public Relations and Communication at the University of Johannesburg and has worked on brands such as Coca Cola, Tsogo Sun, Heineken as well as the South African National Roads Agency. He has been told to shut up many times by people who don’t understand that he is in love with the sound of his own voice. For this reason he decided to start his own blog where he would share his thoughts and experiences without inhibition. Visit his blog, www.randomramblings.co.za and follow him on Twitter @richmondsajini.

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  1. Siyamthanda Phillip

    I am so happy you got help, it is very difficult for us black people to seek psychological help, we are taught at a very young age to DEAL. It is even more difficult for black men to be vulnerable and share their issues. I am really proud of you and this post gives me so much hope and joy.

    • Richmond

      Thank you so much. Imagine how much better we would all treat each others if we dealt with our own demons. I imagine we’d all be lighter.

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