Social and Mental health issues don't mean it's the end of the world


  • Author Phakamile Michelle
  • Published July 8, 2024
  • Word count 416


Social and mental health issues don't mean it's the end of the world.

Byline: Phakamile Michelle

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Michelle is a young female (22) South African in the KwaZulu-Natal Province. She speaks out about how social and mental health issues don't mean it's the end of the world. At the age of 21, in the year 2022, Michelle had started to show minor signs of social anxiety. She would "exclude herself from social activities hosted by friends and loved ones."

This was said to be due to "high levels of overthinking and past trauma." This continued on till 2023, around July, when she started self-harming. She describes how she felt whenever she took a pair of matchbox sticks and repeatedly burned her arms.


"The feeling was always exhilarating; it brought me pain but also relief. As crazy as that sounds, whenever I started burning myself, I'd stop feeling numb. Everything would stop hurting, and I'd feel a little less burdened." When she realized that her actions were starting to be more alarming, she felt it was critical to confess to her family and get the necessary help.

"I've always been an overthinker; everything I do always feels so calculated and overwhelming, so speaking out about how crucial my social and mental health issues are was a hard thing for me.

But after speaking out, I realized how I should've done it sooner because my family was so concerned and supportive and offered to get me help as soon as possible." This gave her confidence to speak out to her close friends, who also offered her an influx of support, assuring her that it wasn't the end. There's still a purpose for her.

These are the words she would like anyone who might be dealing with the same issues to know: "I haven't started therapy yet, but I'm going to as soon as I get a good therapist around Durban, and I've been feeling much better ever since I confessed. I mean, I still get regular meltdowns, but with the support I have, I know I won't spiral into insanity".

So if you know that your social and mental health are starting to be concerning, please speak out to get immediate help. Multiple helplines are available 24/7 whenever you're facing a crisis. "Lastly, I always tell myself that it's time to challenge the challenges that have been challenging me".

Additional Information:

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0800 567 567The South African Depression and Anxiety Support Group Helpline: 0800 21 22 23 (8 a.m.–8 p.m.): 0800 12 13 14 (8 pm- 8 am) SMS 31393

Hi, I'm Phakamile Michelle a young female writer that is on a journey to venture into different writing categories. I currently write poems on but I'm now willing to broaden my horizons and write Articles.

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