Zoleka Mandela speaks about mental health by sharing her story of depression.

The author has been well outspoken about her various struggles and how she overcame them.

Recently, she shared with TshishaLIVE the effect of feeling alone while struggling with depression.

“These are subjects that are still shrouded with so much discrimination and stigma. From my experience, there is nothing worse than feeling like you don’t have a voice, that no-one understands you. Feeling alone only worsens an illness like depression, which is already very isolating,” she said.

Zoleka said she got to realise that she’s been battling with depression since she was a teenager; she further opened up on some issues that made her mental health worse.

“There is someone out there going through exactly what you are going through. I was only diagnosed with depression in 2010, shortly after my daughter’s death. But with my current understanding of depression I realised that I had been living with depression for a very long time — well into my teenage years. I want to be a beacon of hope for people on my social media pages and share my cautionary tales.”

“There were so many things in my life that were not my fault and for a very long time I blamed myself — the physical and sexual abuse, for example. Even when I think of not being able to breastfeed my children because of the breast cancer.”

Zoleka Mandela had to help herself out of the situation through therapy, which helped build her confidence.

“Mental health is a very serious illness and it’s not something you should be ashamed of. It’s not your fault and things can get better with the right treatment.”