Nakhane details battle with depression, suicidal thoughts amidst Covid-19 pandemic
Share this article:
Renowned actor and musician Nakhane recalls how he gradually fell into a drunken stupor that led him to thoughts of suicide.
The London-based South African award-winning artist recently penned an intense and “very personal” essay detailing how he conquered his battle with mental illness during lockdown even when he “was tempted to give in”.
In an article published on “COVIDHQAfrica,” the “Inxeba (The Wound)” star wore his heart on his sleeve as he chronicled his journey with depression, anxiety and suicide and how he survived it all.
“It was a boozy day that turned into a boozy night,” recalls the star. “It’s difficult now to recall the precise time I had started drinking, but I do have a clearer recollection of when the suicidal ideation began.
“It had been blinking at me for weeks, like a star in a sky that clouded over intermittently.”
Though he called the suicide helpline, Nakhane admitted that the “call still carried with it a sense of guilt and shame”.
The star went on the explain how complex mental health issues are, especially for people who are not familiar with the seriousness of the conditions.
“Depression is a difficult illness to describe to people who are not afflicted with it,” said Nakhane.
He continued: “When I speak of it, I am not speaking about sadness or melancholy that all human beings feel, whether it be rational reactions and responses to events like grief, breakups and general disappointments.
“As much as I don’t make light of those moments and what is felt, when I speak of depression, I am speaking of an experience so devoid of hope that it shrouds every single aspect of your life.
He also took the opportunity to shed some light on “Anhedonia,” an “inability to feel pleasure in normally pleasurable activities”.
“Suddenly, sometimes not suddenly at all, as the illness can often stalk its way into your life, intensifying its saturation and contrast slowly, your waking moments are weighed down by an ever-present gloom.
“The joy you used to experience from certain things begins to vanish,” explained the star.
Meanwhile, Nakhane also revealed that he and his partner have since moved out of the city to the countryside and adopted a dog.
“Dogs are hilarious, and their curiosity is contagious. Having one can help draw your mind from its obsession with rumination to the immediate and external, what is right in front of you. Watching my dog sniffing around brings back my own curiosity of the world,” admits Nakhane.
He adds, reminding all of us to be kind of ourselves: “Where in the first lockdown I set up goals for myself that were too big to accomplish, for example, this week you must write and produce a song every day, you must also continue work on your novel, read more etc., I am now more concerned with surviving each day.”