KJ Redelinghuys is a South African-based post-doctoral research fellow. He holds a PhD in Industrial Psychology from the North-West University

About the author

KJ Redelinghuys is a South African-based post-doctoral research fellow. He holds a PhD in Industrial Psychology from the North-West University, with a keen interest in what enables employees to feel and function well. His love for writing was cultivated by his career in academia. He has been dealing with anxiety and depression for over a decade and hopes that he can make a meaningful contribution to the mental health community.

My Story

2007 – I tried to commit suicide at the age of 17. I got admitted to a psychiatric ward and was officially diagnosed with major depression. I left the traditional schooling system and started homeschooling.

2008 – I went back to school to finish matric, my marks declined significantly. I went from being a grade A student to being average. As a result, I didn’t have the confidence to study Accounting as I have always wanted to.

2009 – I randomly enrolled for a degree in Industrial Psychology and Labour Relations Management at North-West University, Vaal Campus.

2011 – I completed my Bcom degree.

2012 – I completed my Bcom Hons degree in Industrial Psychology.

2014 – I completed my MCom in Industrial Psychology.

2016 – I completed my PhD in Industrial Psychology and got married.

2017 – I started a new job at an Accounting firm and started studying Accounting. My mental health declined significantly. I quit my job and stopped studying after 3 months. I felt like a failure, was severely depressed and had another suicide attempt. After a month of being unemployed, I secured employment as a Post-Doc at Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University with the best boss and work environment I could ever ask for.

2018 – I had the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands for work, my first ever trip abroad, it was magical. Towards the end of the year, my wife and I had serious marriage difficulties and decided that a divorce would be better for both of us.

2019 – In January I tried to commit suicide again, spent 3 days in hospital and 2 weeks in a psychiatric ward. I got divorced and my mother died. I had the opportunity to travel to Australia for work – truly breathtaking.

2020 – I have the opportunity to release my book entitled: “Unfiltered: Grappling with mental illness” where I share my experiences of anxiety and depression.

Moral of the story: When I look back in time, there is always hope for things to get better again; even for things to exceed your wildest expectations. In some periods of your life you will experience unbearable pain, but there will also be magical times. I encourage others to share their stories of struggle and determination. Share your story through whichever creative outlet you are most comfortable with. Don’t underestimate your story’s motivational capacity! To you, your story may feel like a compilation of failures, disappointments, and hardships, but to others it may be a source of inspiration, perseverance, bravery, and strength.

KJ Redelinghuys

My Book

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