All Relationships Have Functions

Human beings are social beings. We thrive in relationships because they award us the opportunity to laugh, cheer, and cry together, as well as support one another when need be. Relationships allow us to feel like we belong somewhere. For some, relationships gives one a sense of purpose and identity. It is human nature to always want or need to be with someone. Be that as it may, the one thing that people do not talk about is how we all get into relationships for selfish reasons. The word selfish may sound too harsh for many because society teaches us…

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Thinking About Going To Therapy?

There has been times when we all have considered talking to a professional about something that has been occupying our minds for some time. Some might have not gone through with it, but the thought has been there. In the African community, usually such a thought is the very last option. It comes after church, pastoral counselling, talking to friends and family, or even after self-administered remedies, have not been fruitful, or are not as fruitful as preferred. Not to say that there is anything wrong with any other way of seeking help, assistance or support. But often times than…

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Feeling Like A Fraud: Imposter Syndrome

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, or all of them, chances are you might have be suffering from what is known as “Imposter Syndrome”. It also goes by other names: Imposter Phenomenon or Perceived Fraudulence. Even though, it is not an official mental disorder, it’s effects can lead to one or help reinforce a pre-existing one (e.g. anxiety and/or depression). Imposter Syndrome involves having feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persists despite one’s personal education, experience and accomplishments. Therefore, one finds themselves doubting their abilities and feeling like a fraud, and thus finding it difficult to…

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Self-Talk and its Complexities

Self-Talk: It is one’s internal dialogue. When we talk to ourselves, which can happen out loud (when we mumble something to ourselves), or inside our heads. We all talk to ourselves. It is something that is very normal, and because it is something that we do automatically, we do not consider its effects on our wellbeing. We just see it as a way of life. Self-talk is very powerful because it is influenced by one’s subconscious mind, and it reveals one’s thoughts, beliefs, questions and ideas about the world and/or self. It can also be something that either empowers one…

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How Do You Show Love To Yourself?

Let us start off with a small exercise: Please make a list of people that you love. No matter how long that list is, hopefully you have also included yourself to it. A lot of the time when asked to mention people we love, we have a tendency to mention everyone else but ourselves; the most important person. Society tends to get so perturbed and uncomfortable when people declare that they love themselves unapologetically. Doing so, you get labelled as “selfish”. This begs the question: Does that mean we cannot openly love ourselves? What a lot of people do not…

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Do You Really Know Who You Are?

If you were to be asked to tell the other person who you are, you would probably think it is the easiest thing for you to do because you know yourself, right? I mean, you have been you for the longest time, so it shouldn’t be such a difficult thing for you to do, right? Well, while this is assumed to be an easy thing to do, for a lot of people, it can be one of the hardest things one has to do. And not because they do not really know who they are, but because their knowledge of…

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The Devious Trickster That Is High Functioning Depression

What comes to mind when one mentions “depression?” I imagine a lot of us would think, “sad”, “low energy”, “suicidality”, “no appetite”, and all other typical symptoms of a Major Depressive Disorder, also known as Clinical Depression. And so, when one is presenting with high energy, euthymic mood, a healthy appetite and/or other presentations that are deemed to indicate a “healthy” individual, at least to other people, a depressive disorder is ruled out. It is important to have conversations about High Functioning Depression as there are a lot of misconceptions about what depression is supposed to look like and how…

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Why Social Comparison Can Be To Our Self-Concept’s Detriment

Have you ever looked at someone and thought: OR thought: OR even thought: If you have, then, in that moment, you were socially comparing yourself to others, and as a result, it had an impact on how you feel about or view yourself. We tend to do so with others who are similar to us in relevant ways, such as in race, age, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, educational level, strengths, abilities, interests, etc. Social factors have an influence on our self concept; the collection of beliefs we have about ourselves. This includes who we think we are, the image we…

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How Our Upbringing Shapes Us

Human beings are social beings who need to be around others in order to learn about themselves, to understand the world around them and/or to give and get support during trying times. Our experiences, especially those from our infancy and childhood, can contribute to how we view ourselves, those around us and the world around us, including the different relationships we might be exposed to. These perceptions that we learn about and adopt are carried into our adulthood and have an impact on how we handle situations. That is, if we handle them as “a child” or as an adult,…

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What Kind of Communicator Are You?

How many times have we told ourselves that we are not going to talk to someone after they had done something we are not happy about? How many times have we ignored someone just to teach them a lesson after they had done us wrong? How many times have we said “We are currently not in communication” after being asked how our relationship is going with someone we were once close with? I imagine that a lot of us have experienced such, at least once in our lifetime. Yes, we have “cut communication” at some point with some people in…

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Grieving After A Loss

For a lot of people, one only goes through grief after losing a loved one through death. For the longest time, grieving was only reserved for those who are bereaved. However, in essence, grief is a normal process that one goes through after a loss of something or someone, which can be physical, financial, social, etc. The grief one goes through can also be as a result to a change or disruption in one’s personal life, such as moving to a new place, going through a divorce, job loss, changing schools, birth of a new sibling, changes in friendships, natural…

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The Black Man’s Mental Health

Recently, there has been a lot of reports of people in the limelight committing suicide, be it internationally or locally (South Africa). To name a few, it was unfortunate that the likes of Cheslie Kryat (former Miss USA), Ian Alexander (Regina King’s son), Patrick Shai (Lengendary South African actor), and most recently, Rikhado “Ricky Rick” Makhado (South African Hip Hop icon) committed suicide. As the people who knew of them mourned with their families and friends, there also seemed to be a mental health awareness that came from it. Interestingly, even though one cannot prepare for someone’s untimely death, the…

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Mental Health in the Black Community

“Only white people get mental illnesses.” What a provocative statement. How controversial! It is quite perturbing to hear this statement uttered time and time again when a person of colour is confronted with the possibility that they might not be coping with what life is dishing up for them at that given season/time. It is a statement that is not only perturbing to the people of colour who might be struggling with their mental health, but can also be for their Caucasian counterparts, because let us be real, there is still a lot of stigma around mental health and/or mental…

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The Psychology of Self-Betrayal

A lot of us have been in situations where we know what we should do and how we should react, but still chose to do the exact opposite. At surface level, it looks like it was just a choice you made, with no “real” consequences, especially not to the self. To some, it might even come across as selfless if you chose to negate your own feelings, thoughts, concerns and needs for the benefit of the other. If this is done ever so often, it becomes part of your identity and people begin to expect you to always be in…

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The Burdens From The Previous Year

“New Year, New Me”, a phrase that many of us tend to use as we anticipate, welcome and celebrate the new year that we are going into. During this time, a lot of us are filled with a lot of joy, excitement and anticipation for what the new year might bring for us. We become so optimistic, because for many, it feels like a new beginning. It feels like you are turning a new leaf and everything that you are going to be encountering is going to be new, positive and fulfilling. Well, at least that is what we all…

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