I contemplated suicide- Wahu Kagwi

When you see them looking stunning on the covers of glossy magazines, it is hard to believe that our beloved celebrities lead less than picture perfect lives.

Top Kenyan singer Wahu Kagwi has, however, come out to shatter that “charmed life” stereotype though a refreshingly candid social media post.

The Sweet Love singer revealed that she had a taste of the bitter side of life, saying that at one point she even contemplated ending her own life.

“When I was 19, I suffered from depression. I thought my life was meaningless. I thought I was such a failure and a massive disappointment to my parents. I wanted to do myself (and the world) a favour and just die,” Wahu recalled.

On one of her darkest days, Wahu recalls thinking that she would never live to see her 25th birthday.

“I remember walking past my dad’s medicine cabinet and just thinking how easy it would be to just “end this”. I remember thinking that I would never live to celebrate my 25th birthday, and if I did, I’d be nuts. Like literally a Mathare case,” the post went on to read.

There was life at the end of the tunnel – something that the 36-year-old singer is grateful about.

“Looking back now all I can say is the devil is a liar! Look at all what he didn’t want me to enjoy! A career that I love, a family I adore, and an opportunity to encourage so many young people,” she wrote.

Wahu offered a word of advice to anyone who may be struggling with depression, “Don’t believe the -ve whispers that sink you into depression. Don’t believe them at all. You have to know that your future is absolutely bright. And the bigger your struggle appears to be, the greater your future is. So give thanks even in times of hardship because success and happiness is just around the corner.”

Suffering in silence

The World Health Organisation defines depression as, “a common mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration.”

Though there are no definitive numbers, studies estimate that 350 million people globally suffer from the disease at one point in their lives.

A 2014 study conducted at Nairobi University showed that nearly 36% of the  students polled had moderate depressive symptoms, with 5.6% having  severe depression.

“The overall prevalence of moderate depressive symptoms was 35.7% (33.5% males and 39.0% females) and severe depression was 5.6% (5.3% males and 5.1% female). Depressive illness was significantly more common among the first year students, those who were married; those who were economically disadvantaged and those living off campus…. Those students who used tobacco, engaged in binge drinking and those who had an older age were more likely to be depressed” read a part of the study.

Depending on the type of depression, it can be treated through counselling or medication.  To get more information about diagnosis and treatment, click here.

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