In Summary
  • I got into a depressive state in Form Three and was put on anti-depressants. I was 16 at the time.
  • My father did not understand and I remember him asking me “What do you have to be depressed about?”
  • My mother, however, was my rock and got me all the help we could get.
  • Do you have feedback on this story? Please e-mail: lifeandstyle@ke.nationmedia.com

Nyaguthii Kioi has battled bulimia for two years of her life, and spent the last 10 years coping with depression.

This period has seen her attempt suicide twice. The 25-year old, a trained lawyer, has since dedicated her life to aiding survivors of sexual and gender based violence through activism.

On this World Suicide Prevention Day, she shares her story with Anita Murage.

“I grew up in a really posh neighbourhood. I didn’t realise it then but looking back, I had a really amazing childhood.

I was still too young to pick up on the passive aggressive way my father treated my mother, or to notice that he never provided for us.

She covered well for him. My father worked for an international company and always bought us such beautiful dresses from countries he would visit.

Then suddenly, he wasn’t coming home on time or helping me with my homework. We found out that he had lost his job.

He ventured into the alcohol industry and opened a depot. Then my mother could no longer hide his real self from us anymore.

We saw him for the alcoholic he was. All his business ventures failed and he eventually resulted to running his father’s business; a bar. They eventually separated in a terrible way.

FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

My first encounter with mental illness was when I developed an eating disorder. I was bulimic for about two years. In high school, I was wayward, getting into trouble especially because I did not settle very well in school. I was suspended and would only be allowed back into the school with a letter from a psychiatrist. This is what saved me because the psychiatrist diagnosed me with clinical depression.

I got into a depressive state in Form Three and was put on anti-depressants. I was 16 at the time. My father did not understand and I remember him asking me “What do you have to be depressed about?”

Nyaguthii had her son in 2014 while in her first year of studies at university. She went back to continue her studies in 2015. PHOTO| COURTESY

Nyaguthii had her son in 2014 while in her first year of studies at university. She went back to continue her studies in 2015. PHOTO| COURTESY

My mother, however, was my rock and got me all the help we could get. After I finished that round of medication, I was okay.

I attempted suicide in Form 4 during the holidays. My sister called my mother and she rushed home made me throw up all the pills I had taken.

We talked and I went back to school okay.

I got involved with a lot of alcohol, drugs and sex and got pregnant right before my 19th birthday. I was severely depressed throughout my pregnancy but never told anyone.

I had the baby in 2014 and went back to school in 2015. In 2016, I was sexually abused by the man I was seeing at the time and I was too scarred to open up to anyone about it. I would think about it constantly.

DEVELOPED ANXIETY

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