Nicolette Writes

Professional Freelance Writer and Stay-at-Home Mom

Andrew Thompson Commits Suicide – and people STILL think Depression is made-up nonsense?

If you are not from South Africa, you will probably not be familiar with the name Andrew Thompson… in fact, neither was I… I always just thought of him as Fanie from the Afrikaans movie series Bakgat. Well, ‘Fanie’ committed suicide. ‘What?! How is this possible!?’ is probably what you are thinking, imagining ‘Fanie’, whom we have come to know as the extremely sweet, comical, funny and happy character on our television screens.

The first thing I thought when I heard that he committed suicide was: ‘And people STILL think depression is not a series illness?‘ There are still people who believe that depression is a made-up thing – an illness of the time, that everybody gets some time or another. That depression means merely feeling ‘down’ and that these people should ‘pull themselves together’ and look at all their blessings…

Will you tell someone with a broken hip to pull themselves together and go out for a walk? How can we be so insensitive to an illness that is so real? Just because you cannot show physical evidence for its existence, like an arm in a cast, or a bloody, stitched up toe, doesn’t mean it does not exist. It just makes us uncomfortable, doesn’t it? It especially makes those personality types uncomfortable that think of ‘sensitive souls’ as weak people.

May we move beyond our narrow-minded ideas when it comes to Depression: Depression is not a mood (as in ‘I am angry, frustrated, depressed’) – it is an illness with a capital ‘D’. It does not merely mean you are having a ‘down’ or ‘off’ day, and you cannot merely fix it by looking at the sunshine. Wake up, people, and reach out to those who suffer from Depression as if they are going through major surgery – you are treading on such sensitive ground when working with people who suffer from Depression.

Whether ‘Fanie’ or Andrew Thompson suffered from depression or not, this death has got to make you think… if someone who seems to have it all (fame, popularity, LOVED and adored by his country’s people) commits suicide – he was NOT just having an ‘off’ day.

Love, Nicolette
ps: you can comment by either clicking on the ‘comment bubble’ on your left, next to the post, or by clicking on the title of this entry and opening this post in a new window*


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17 thoughts on “Andrew Thompson Commits Suicide – and people STILL think Depression is made-up nonsense?

  1. Ashley on said:

    I agree wholeheartedly with what you have said. Many do not understand depression yet are all so quick to judge it. I have had 2 friends since Dec that have committed suicide due to depression. It is a real sickness and a very serious one!!!! RIP Andrew xoxo

    • Hi Ashley!

      Thank you so much for your comment. Depression is something I feel very strongly about. I have been on medication for this for over four years now, and now that I am healthy I can clearly experience the difference between feeling down (as I sometimes do) and feeling depressed. Feeling down and feeling depressed is in no way the same.

      Thank you so much for your input here, and I am so sorry to hear about your friends. No wonder you truly understand the impact of this illness.

      Lots of love

      • Jacques on said:

        What medication did you take ? Maybe this can help with others that have the same problem ?

        • Hi Jacques!

          I have been on quite a journey regarding medication for depression! It really takes time to find the right combination, and once you are on the right combination, you also need to keep at it for a while.
          I am currently using Wellbutrin together with Lexamil (which is the generic for Cipralex). I have probably been on this combination for two years now. But I think everyone’s pretty unique when it comes to what combination of medication works for you. I am not promoting these two meds, just letting you know what combination I am on – but I do know there are many different anti-depressants, and the best is to find a good psychiatrist who is willing to walk this journey with you, trying the different medications and closely monitoring you.

          Also, I have found that for myself, a combination of therapy (seeing a psychologist) and medication (seeing a psychiatrist) is best. BUT I also know it can get very expensive… in which case you might want to consider joining a group for group therapy. I am currently in a support/ motivation group and I am not seeing a psychologist anymore. Both the psychologist and group therapy has been SO helpful. Although this too takes time and you shouldn’t expect to feel better after the first two or three sessions.

          Hehe, these are just some of my thoughts:-) Hope something helps! Thank you so much for commenting 😀

          I so understand the loneliness of having depression – no one can quite get what you are feeling…

  2. Hi Anonymous! (Anonymous’ original comment has been deleted for privacy reasons)

    Ah man I wish you and I could go for a coffee now and chat.

    Tell me, is it possible for you to go and see a therapist? I remember when I started realising I needed help, it was very tricky: I was on a hospital plan, so there wouldn’t be any financial coverage from a medical aid, plus, I couldn’t tell my parents: I was sure that they would be SO embarrassed that I needed a psychologist. Luckily for me, I was studying at Stellenbosch at the time, and the University there has a free service for students where you can see trained psychologists. That’s where my journey to healing started.

    Are you perhaps studying at a place where there is such a service? I guess what I am trying to say, is that you should really really speak to someone about what you are going through – someone who is trained to help you realise what you are going through and how to best handle it. Our pastor (hehe, sorry, I’m not preaching, just sharing an example!), once told us about a brick in his yard that had been on the grass for quite some time – when he lifted it up, there were SO many insects and goggas, and they all SCATTERED! We have to expose things to the light – in other words, talk about it, tell someone we are struggling – in order for the ‘goggas’ to go away. Please don’t stay alone in your feelings!!

    Please keep me updated and let me know how it is going with you…
    Oh, another thing: I once watched a movie where a girl was crying because of the pain she saw after that 2005 (I think) tsunami. When an older woman approached her, the young girl started apologising profusely for crying so much about it all. The older woman then said to her: ‘Never apologise for crying… compassion can move you to do great things.’

    The fact that you have such a compassion for other people, especially those who struggle with depression – can move you to do great things***

    Lots of love

    • Hi Anonymous! (Anonymous’ original comment has been deleted for privacy reasons)

      I remember when I was seeing a therapist, I thought for probably the first six weeks, that this isn’t helping at all! But I kept going, and everything did come together eventually… It takes time for therapists as well, to figure out ‘how the dots connect’ in your life. That is why I think you have to talk so much in the first few sessions, while they only seem to sit and listen and say nothing.

      I probably only after a year of therapy had that ‘Aha’ moment where I started realising what was going on in my life…

      It’s worth holding on to life, and to keep trying to get better – try everything: self-help books, therapy, meds, groups, music, give it your best shot: there is so much ahead for you to enjoy when you get better! One day you probably will, like me at this moment, be expecting your first baby, and you will feel his tiny feet kick you and just want to grab hold of that cute little foot and cuddle it! Haha!


  3. Werner on said:

    Hi Nicolette,

    I was crazy about ‘Theunis” from Molly en Wors. The thing is that everytime someone commits suicide I feel the urge of doing it myself. Knowing that it wont fix my problems but it just seem that it is for sure a better and quicker exit.
    I went to see a psycologist and psiciatrist and was put on heavy meds BUT everything became to much and the bills just kept streeming in, so I stopped with all treatment and medication. It was hell on earth but I think I’m doing okay now.

    My real problem is that when someone commits suicide I also think about it, is this “normal”


    • Hi Werner!

      Thank you for your message:-) I think I do understand what you are saying…
      I still (after four years on meds and being much healthier) sometimes think of suicide – or I don’t feel like committing suicide at the moment, but when I am not well, it does go through my mind. So firstly – you are not alone. And there are more people like us.
      Whenever I get those quick thoughts of suicide, then I KNOW I am not completely healthy yet… and that is when I know I have to continue my medication: even if it means for life, and I have to continue going to therapy (even if it is just group therapy, or seeing a pastor or some kind of mentor).

      Have you checked out SADAG’S website? The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (or I think that’s what they stand for). They have groups that you can attend for free in almost every town I think… Here is their website: /
      There is lots of info on their site: do spend some time going through the site.

      Don’t go through this alone – let someone know how you feel: someone you can trust and who won’t take your feelings lightly. Like I said to Danika – only by bringing your feelings out in the open, you can get better! But be sure not to share your emotions with someone who won’t take it seriously. We don’t need that type of input.

      Let me know how it’s going:-) And you are not alone!!

      • Werner on said:

        Hi Nicolette,

        only got your mail today. Well I’m back on my meds,so things was going better until a few days ago. I realy feel there is no need to go on. I keep on trying my best to show my love and to understand and to help others around me. But yet its like nobody even cares. I thought about suicide this week but not in a way of doing it. I know there is support groups all over but since I’m in Namibia and not SA that doesnt help me much. I think I’ll be okay again in a few days. this feeling usualy only last for a few days, hope this time it will be the same.

        Dont have much to say other than that, but its nice to know you read my comment and replied.


        • Man – I just typed this whole reply and now it’s gone!

          Thinking of you – maybe together with the psychiatrist you are seeing reconsider your meds? I am in the process of doing that. Also, therapy (seeing a psychologist) helps a lot!
          Ag can’t believe I lost my whole mail I typed – and got to run now.
          Perhaps also check out some internet sites, like social anxiety support group – I used to browse around there –

          😦 Hope you are feeling better

  4. I would like to hear from the people who commented on this specific post… how are you all doing? 🙂

  5. Fudley on said:

    Hi I just watched the movie “Ek joke net ” about Andrew Thompson and could not believe the he committed suicide,its so sad.I think we all have depression just different levels,and its up us how we deal with it,it takes great courage to take your own life.I just cant imagine what goes through your head before going through doing something like that,leaving much unanswered questions behind.may his soul rest in peace.

    • Hi there!

      Yes, I recently went through all these emotions again, when my favourite singer of all time (or at least of my life!) committed suicide – Chester Bennington. I suffer from Major Depression myself and have been on medication for many years – and I do understand how a person can reach the point of committing suicide: it’s not about not wanting to live, it’s about not being able to bare the pain anymore 😦 But I think we should always remember the people we will leave behind if we do decide to ‘go’. There was a time that only my kids kept me alive. I am grateful today to be in a better place, and I will never underestimate the seriousness of Depression. What helps most for me is the idea of the white and black dog fighting – the one you feed will win. So I focus on feeding the white dog. Thank you so much for your comment on here!

  6. Loren E. on said:

    Just stumbled ontonthis blog by accident—I was a fan of the Bakgat films and was bummed out when I heard abiut Mr. Thompson’s suicide in 2012 I think, before Bakgat 3 came out. I remember he was also features in a music video by Chrizan…Thank you for writing this, from a formerly North American fan who know lives in Helsinki.

    • Oh wow! This is so interesting – how did you stumble upon the Bakgat films if you were from North America at the time? And thank you for your comment – it made me think that I should start blogging again!

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