Politician Rachel Shebesh has gone public about suffering from bipolar disorder and depression in an effort to raise more mental health awareness among Kenyan youth.
Speaking during the Upper Eastern Edition of the youth empowerment campaign ‘Kenya Ni Mimi’ on February 28, Shebesh said the mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings led her into depression and on the verge of contemplating suicide.
“I suffer from Bipolar but bipolar has been there for a longtime running my life without me having any control over it and in that process, I became very depressed and almost suicidal.
“I’m talking about this because there could be someone here sitting and wondering what we are all doing here. Believe it’s not that something is wrong with you, you could be going through depression and depression is treatable and it has medication,” said the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of Public Service and Gender.
Shebesh narrated that before she realised she was suffering from bipolar disorder and depression, the condition greatly affected her family and her political career.
“…When I went into depression, I took my family down. I lost my strength on the ground as a politician just because I did not know. I was not sure, and I was not ready,” Shebesh said.
Adding: “It almost took my life. I went into depression for a year plus where I could not move, communicate or do much.”
The former Nairobi Woman Representative said she started fighting for her mental health by accepting her condition and later seeking professional help.
“Depression is treatable and it has medication. I take medicine for bipolar and I take medicine for depression. But the day I took control of my mental health bipolar doesn’t control me, it’s just a part of who I am,” she stated.
“Number one was to acknowledge it and then number two was to go for help.”
I have experienced Mental Health challenges & I want to encourage young people to speak out. Mental health is real, depression is real. Always check up on the people you love.@PSYGKenya @Kenya_NI_Mimi@nadia_abdalla_ @MOH_Kenya @WHO#Shebeshspeaks#MotivationMonday pic.twitter.com/AcOohRqo1g
— Rachel Shebesh (@Rachelshebesh) February 28, 2021