My Name is Ngoni from Zimbabwe and I have been dealing with depression for some years now.

It can be quite debilitating. I have had days when I felt so low I stayed in bed for days.

The thoughts that come when in the middle of such an episode can be very dark because it is very hard in that moment to believe that those feelings will subside.

I try to focus on things that I want to achieve and remind myself of the fact that I have to be alive to be able to do what is on my heart to do.

That internal back in forth has been an extremely humbling experience. In as much as it is stressful, it has taught me many life lessons too.

I have become more conscious of the way I internalize criticism or negative energy.

I have become in turn quite concerned about how people who have to deal with depression and other conditions are treated by society and how that affects them.

Stigma is still a real challenge.

I have had some very nasty things said to me and about me and that has affected me.

We read about school shootings, cyberbullying and increased rates of suicide among high school age students. We have read about tragic incidents of suicide among adults as well.

I am only recently coming to terms with the reality that I could have potentially harmed myself because of something someone said or did to me because he or she did not fully understand what depression is or how their behavior could have a negative effect on me.

I have had my concerns about therapy in the past but I understand today how helpful it can be in helping identify and begin the process of healing from trauma.

A very kind person reminded me the other day that depression is a feeling and not who I am.  I believe I will heal in time if I working at it.

People will say or do what they will and I have accepted that I have no control over that. I just remind myself now that my life is valuable and that God has blessed with life and purpose to fulfill despite my challenges.

I pray the same for others dealing with similar challenges.

Age: 36
Harare, Zimbabwe
I am a farmer and I am in process of starting an educational fund for African youth in Zimbabwe.