Could apartheid be the source of mental health problems in South Africa?

Although mental health is caused by a number of personal issues that people go through, there are other sources of trauma which can lead to depression, resulting in someone committing suicide.

Dr Mashadi Motlana, a specialist psychiatrist, highlights some of the causes as the trauma experienced during apartheid where people were terrorised and some still grappling with the impacts until this day.

Some of the causes she says could be from the social realities that South Africans have to deal with on a daily basis which includes, poverty, crime and violence.

Some of the mental health problems could be set off by the fact that people can't deal with unemployment or the aftermath of rape, which is rife in our society today.

Let's talk about apartheid and the trauma that South Africans have been subjected to. those that were in the country lived through the state of emergency, trauma, harassment and being picked up for not having a pass, these things become trans-generational.

Dr Mashadi Motlana, a specialist psychiatrist

Let's talk about what happened to young white men... and we wonder why there is road rage because we've never really healed the wounds of what we were subjected to during apartheid.

Dr Mashadi Motlana, a specialist psychiatrist

So when things erupt, those incidences of the k-word, it inflames all that anger and resentment and brings back all that trauma that carry within us.

Dr Mashadi Motlana, a specialist psychiatrist

It plays out in the way that men treat women, the violence against women and the crime in this country where it feels like we are not protected.

Dr Mashadi Motlana, a specialist psychiatrist

And really looking at how mental health services are viewed in terms of the budget, it really signifies the public stigma.

Dr Mashadi Motlana, a specialist psychiatrist

To hear the rest of the conversation with Dr Mashadi Motlana, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Could apartheid be the source of mental health problems in South Africa?


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