How sport saved this woman's life

How sport saved this woman's life

This Women's Month, we focus on the story of a young woman who managed to overcome her battle with depression. 

Sports coach Patience Ramavhale

According to SADAG, one in three South Africans have or will have a mental health issue at some point in their lifetime. 

Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression, reports Mayo Clinic.

The encouraging thing with depression is that it can be treated.  One of the success stories is that of Patience Ramavhale. 

Patience started her struggle with mental illness from a young age after suffering abuse by a parent. This even led to her contemplating suicide. 

"I grew up in a very toxic environment. From a very tender age I was neglected, I was abused, I was rejected," says Patience. 

She says she suffered sexual, emotional, and physical abuse inflicted by one of her parents. 

As a result, she attempted to commit suicide in Grade 2. 

"I drank a bottle that was supposed to treat ring worms on my head," she said in the Don't Hold Back podcast. 

One of the symptoms of depression is self-isolation, and Patience says she started displaying this. Not only did she want to spend time by herself, but she also wanted to be in a dark room, shut the door or close the windows. She would also sleep a lot to shut down her emotions and thoughts. This led to her mom realising that something wasn't right; that her daughter was feeling depressed. 

Just as the experts say, doing physical exercise can help boost your mental health, Patience says playing netball is what saved her life. 

She says netball gave her safety and allowed her to be herself without being judged. 

"Exercising and sport is what gave a positive impact to her mental health," she said. 

Below, we bring you her interview with Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba on the latest episode of Don’t Hold Back

Patience Ramavhale and Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba

(Pictured above: Patience Ramavhale (on the right) shares her story with Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba)

If you are suffering from depression, it is important that you get help as soon as possible. Below is a list of where you can reach out for help: 

Cipla 24hr Mental Health Helpline
0800 456 789

Pharmadynamics Police & Trauma Line
0800 20 50 26

Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline
0800 70 80 90

ADHD Helpline
0800 55 44 33

Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline
0800 12 13 14
SMS 32312

Suicide Crisis Line
0800 567 567

SADAG Mental Health Line
011 234 4837

Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour
0861 435 787

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