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October is Mental Health Awareness Month!

By Dr. Precious Serero,

As we come to the end of the Mental Health Awareness Month, I want to share what I recently shared on my Instagram. I don’t only talk about burnout from a professional perspective but from my experience with severe burnout and how I’ve come out of that and how long it took.

BURNOUT – it’s a real thing.

My health took a downward spiral in 2021 due to many factors and I tried to get rid of things from my plate one after the other, that’s when I learnt boundaries -I didn’t have to learn that the hard way – 2 years later and still on a recovery journey.

Here are some of the things I experienced with severe burnout

– I was on anti-depressants and sleeping pills because I could barely manage, I was on a low depressed mood for most of the time. Depressed doesn’t mean sad, I wasn’t sad, I was depressed.

– Constant fatigue – my self-diagnosing self-attributed this to the 3 separate episodes of Covid-19 I had meanwhile my Vitamin D levels were down in the boots (I’ll tell you the benefits of Vitamin D in a separate post). And then you appear lazy, because why are you always tired and sleepy.

– Insomnia – this was the most painful thing, regardless of how early I went to bed, I’d toss and turn until the wee hours of the morning.

– Lack of interest in daily life activities – nothing, and I mean nothing interested me, I’d still do things so that I kept moving (movement of any sort – antidote to depression – I attended things that I could attend, I spoke at events, I showed up for my patients)

– Don’t know how to phrase this – but I couldn’t see the future, I couldn’t see my life/self beyond a years’ time, at some point I was constantly worried that I’m going to die.

– Business suffered – because when you are still starting up and the business depends on you, when you fall it falls.

– I was losing hair, my bones hurt, yes, I could feel them, I had muscle spasms, I had memory lapses, palpitations and

My vitamin D levels are almost back to normal after weeks of high dose Vitamin D, I feel alive! I feel like Precious. I’ve been off anti-depressants for some time now, I sleep well, I recently started walking, the other weekend I did 15km in 2 days, something I could have never done while I was sick.

Although I’m not fully recovered, God am I a whole lot better! And have slowly eased into a lot of life things that I enjoy.

I’m sharing this to help someone who might be deep in this pit. YOU CAN GET OUT. MY GOD DOES NOT FAIL!!!


Mzukona Mantshontsho is the founder of Nyakaza Media Solutions. Nyakaza Media Solutions is an organisation that was established to help community organisations, business entities, and schools to research, write, document, report, analyse, edit, publish newsletters or bulletins in hard-copy, on-line and maintain websites with the relevant content as per the editorial policy of that organisation, school or entity. Nyakaza Media Solutions has a vision to promote and bring dialogue to communities, businesses and schools about issues that affect them. Nyakaza Media Solutions is on a mission to develop and encourage communities, businesses and learners to celebrate the good, applaud excellence, welcome growth, strive to be better individuals, businesses and communities, want more knowledge, discourage bad and counter-productive behaviour as well as communities, businesses and learners that want to be great SOUTH AFRICANS. Nyakaza Media Solutions is making use of Yo School Magazine as a platform that learners in all schools to make use of to write their stories.

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