"It hurts when people call me mad," says Luvo Ndinisa. "I asked people from my community to stop calling me mad."
According to WebMD, "Bipolar is a mental illness that brings severe high and low moods affecting sleep, thinking and behavior. People with the disorder can have periods in which they feel overly happy and energized and periods of feeling very sad."
Ndinisa, originally from Cofimvaba, a small town in the Eastern Cape, came to Cape Town looking for a job. He started using tik and button drugs when he was 16.
"A year after I started using drugs, I lost my mind. I had all this energy. I can't explain. At first, I thought it was normal, until people around me started taking note."
He says, when they discharge him from hospital, he will continue with his medication and quit using drugs. But he knows it is not going to be easy.
According to the Mental Health Information Centre about one in five South Africans suffer from a mental disorder severe enough to affect their lives significantly. The organisations says that in the course of a year, nearly 20% of high school students think about killing themselves.
On 18 October, Lentegeur Hospital celebrated National Mental Health Day. Doctors and clinicians gave presentations on mental health issues.
Nothemba Dinga, a social worker from KTC day hospital in Gugulethu, says, "I think more needs to be done to educate families about mental illnesses."
Bongile Gongo, a nurse at the Mental Health Unit, Khayelitsha Site C Clinic, says, "There are still people who out of stigma label people with mental illnesses as mad. I don't think we should judge them for that ... we should [instead] take note of the gap and find ways to close it. As for raising awareness, I think we are getting there. We have NGOs, and our community radio stations are doing their bit in raising awareness."