Depression knows no bounds

WINDHOEK-She is a songwriter, a songstress with a soulful rich voice and multi-winning award vocalist. She hails all the way from Oshikuku. She released her debut album, Bulletproof in 2015. She goes by the name of Anne Singer.

She was nominated in five categories at the 2016 Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs), which included Album of the year. She scooped four of them; Best Album of the Year award, Best RnB, Best New Comer and Best Afro Pop. It was in the category of Artist of the Year which she did not win. In total, she marched away with N$ 110 000 in prize money. With all of that to her name and more, one would not come to the conclusion that not so long ago-beginning of the year to be exact, she was going through depression where she took a razor blade to cut her wrist and the intention was to numb the pain she was going through.

Depression is a word that is loosely used and that should not be the case. What is depression? According to The American Psychiatrist Association, Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.

Paheja PJ Siririka (PS) finds out from Anne what she was going through, how she is doing and what led to the episode.

PS: Thank you for seeing us and we are sorry to hear what you went through but tell us, what happened exactly?

AS: A couple of weeks ago, I went through a very severe episode of depression and I literally took a blade and started cutting my wrist and I thought it was the only way that could help me overcome what I was going through. Crying was not helping any longer.

PS: It must have been hard going through that all alone, why did you decide to tell your story?

AS: When I was going through this, I was hiding it all along from my family because people would see me a very strong, courageous woman. I wanted to tell my story in order to help other people who might be going through the same situation. The response has been overwhelming, many people have come forth saying they either went through the same or are still having depression.

I also felt that a person in society, as an artist I needed to tell my story to help someone else out there. If you see my post on Instagram it is evident that people are going through stuff.

Our society is filled with jokers, It is all jokes and comedy plus humor. People never want to discuss serious things. Telling my story was a way of taking my power back, some said it was a sign of weakness but that is not the case with me. I feel I showed strength by talking about it. How many people do we have in Namibia that is suffering from depression? Not many, because they fear stigma and being judged.

PS: Many people might wonder, of all the things that you can do to inflict harm on yourself, why cut your wrist with a razor blade and what led to that?

AS: Many people think I was suicidal when I came out with my story but that was not the case. I just wanted to hurt myself. For some reason in my head I, though that was the only thing that could help me deal with what I was going through. I do not deal with things head on, I bottle them up. I make them pile up. I am the type of [person] that laughs at me, I laugh at my mistakes and I constantly tell myself that I will deal with it later. After a while I would have meltdowns, lock myself in the room, cry, and then get out of my room as if nothing has happened.

I had many meltdowns and many of those are the episodes that led to my depression. It got to a point where crying was not helping at all. I am crying but no pain, it is just tears falling.

PS: Did you seek any professional help?

AS: No, I have not. I pray that I do not get another episode. Self-validation is very important but if I do, I will definitely seek professional help. I feel sometimes you need to go through things in order to help.

PS: What can you tell someone who is going through the same ordeal?

AS: Take it easy, I was overwhelmed and had a lot on my plate. Being a mom, a student and an artist is not an easy task. I would say to those going through this, surround yourself with people that love you. Find a way and deal with it. You are not alone. Be kind to yourself and accept the fact that it is ok not to be ok. Everybody is fighting their own battle. You are not the only.

Anne says that 2019 is another year to thrive for the best and do you. Music is definitely coming, be on the lookout for that.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia