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Elsabe Brits

Elsabe Brits (38) is a South African, science journalist at the Afrikaans daily newspaper Die Burger in Cape Town. She covers most academic research fields and current scientific issues including genetics, astronomy, biology, evolution, paleontology, archeology, physics and medicine. Elsabe has a special interest in the public advancement and understanding of science in the public domain. Elsabe has won several national journalism awards during her career and is currently the vice-president of the South African Science Journalists’ Association.

In June 2001, while she was still working as a crime reporter, her world came crushing down one day when she covered a murder story, one of many she has done before. It turned into a full blown manic episode. That evening she was admitted to hospital where she stayed for three weeks and had electro convulsive therapy after all attempts to stabilize her failed. During the following nine months she was admitted two more times and received ECT again. A long road of recovery was ahead.

Today, ten years later, she is a functional, established science writer, leading a full life and manages the illness with the help of clinical medicine, clinical psychotherapy (she has been seeing the same psychologist for 10 years) and stress management. Her Afrikaans book “Kyk my in die oë” (Look me in the eyes) was published in July 2011.


Hi my name is Tony. I'm linking blue eyes to mental illness. I don't know what I'm going to do about it yet. Tried to see if you have blue eyes but couldn't tell. I was diagnosed manic- depressive at 33 after 3 years off going to all kinds of doctors. I'm also linking fibromyalgia to bi - polar disorder. Put on a lot of different medication until klonopin seroqel and cymbalta stabilized me. I'm a father of four. Tried to do everything right to be a good person in life. I had three turkey farms at one time a beautiful home and family. Lost it all to this illness. But I didn't lose my life. I don't take any medications anymore. I'm not numb anymore and I don't want to kill my self anymore. I'm sending my story all over the world. I have a lot of experience with this illness. I want to share with the world but have no resources. I owe a lot of money to the government and my family's. If you are interested in talking with me I would love too. God bless you. Tony

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