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NB Weekly 10 - Fighting Depression: The Silence Killing Nigerians


siteadmin

Administrator
Depression is now one everyone lips after some well publicised suicides in Lagos and across Nigeria. We now openly hear stories of suicides, attempted suicides, thoughts of suicides, loneliness and helplessness. In the past week we have heard from Nollywood actress Adunni Ade about her suicide attempt, and also from Julius Agwu about one of his lowest points, when he contemplated killing himself. We know there is a problem and the more we talk, the easier it will be for people to get help.

This issue of NB Weekly takes a look at depression, and we also cover mental health in general. We hope the discussion becomes more mainstream so that those suffering can come out of the shadows and speak out.

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Depression is now regarded as a mental health issue triggered by all kinds of factors from within the human body, and in the social environment. The experience of loss or hopelessness is not easy to deal with when there is no one to confide in or share your feelings with, and very often people resort to seeking spiritual or religious means to tackle it with various degrees of success. I strongly believe this part of the world should focus more on the mental health of people both young and old and how the errant society, fading family values and the manipulative Mass Media is contributing largely to this trend.
 

curator

Administrator
Curators
Depression is now regarded as a mental health issue triggered by all kinds of factors from within the human body, and in the social environment. The experience of loss or hopelessness is not easy to deal with when there is no one to confide in or share your feelings with, and very often people resort to seeking spiritual or religious means to tackle it with various degrees of success. I strongly believe this part of the world should focus more on the mental health of people both young and old and how the errant society, fading family values and the manipulative Mass Media is contributing largely to this trend.

There is also a case of expectations not meeting the realities. Our expectations are raised by everything around us including the media, but the reality can be far from the painted pictures. The result, in many cases can be a disjoint between the life you think you deserve and the life you have. This is one small aspect of the issue.
 
Good observation: This is what I meant by the 'manipulative' mass media. The same Mass Media has seriously battered the mentality of people around the world, including so-called developed nations in Europe, Asia, Australia and America for the sake of profit making. By the way, the corrupt elite in the world's 'governments' (government indeed) are loudly rumoured to be controlling the Media. Unreal, impractical, dangerous and immoral ideas are being planted subconsciously in people's minds while they are busy watching movies, adverts, TV shows, surfing the Internet, reading newspapers and mags, wearing 'designer' products with all kinds of strange art and suggestive words written on them. That is why moral decadence and mental health problems are sharply on the increase. I might say some school teachers are working double hard to correct this trend, albeit with not so much cooperation from equally weak minded or compromised parents (and school owners in some cases). The down side of technology maybe. The society is moving forward, and moving backwards all at once.
 
And then comes - revered tradition, and the titanic clash of the races. How do these factors possibly count in depression cases? It is becoming clear that as much as we value culture and tradition, there have been inherent abuses found in each culture that have sadly contributed to the sanity (or lack of it) of people: marriage and inheritance practices taken too far, gender abuses against women, child abuses, denial or abuse of rights because of some societal taboo or law, the class system in some societies, tribal disagreements and wars, land disputes and what have you. When religion gets involved, it becomes even worse. In any multi-ethnic nation (as long as there is more than one tribal group or race), inter-tribal disagreements on the outside, and internal abuses have had very serious consequences, we have seen that virtually everywhere across the globe. People despair and seek to run away from a society that has denied them the joy of living - the world is full of migrants, refugees and displaced persons seeking help elsewhere, where it is possible. If otherwise - then the mind seeks an escape route whether right or wrong, or depression would follow.
 

curator

Administrator
Curators
And then comes - revered tradition, and the titanic clash of the races. How do these factors possibly count in depression cases? It is becoming clear that as much as we value culture and tradition, there have been inherent abuses found in each culture that have sadly contributed to the sanity (or lack of it) of people: marriage and inheritance practices taken too far, gender abuses against women, child abuses, denial or abuse of rights because of some societal taboo or law, the class system in some societies, tribal disagreements and wars, land disputes and what have you. When religion gets involved, it becomes even worse. In any multi-ethnic nation (as long as there is more than one tribal group or race), inter-tribal disagreements on the outside, and internal abuses have had very serious consequences, we have seen that virtually everywhere across the globe. People despair and seek to run away from a society that has denied them the joy of living - the world is full of migrants, refugees and displaced persons seeking help elsewhere, where it is possible. If otherwise - then the mind seeks an escape route whether right or wrong, or depression would follow.
These are all everyday challenges that can lead to depression but what we need to try and understand is what is the switch. Are some people more prone to it than others? Is it a nurture rather than a nature issue?
 

Heetz Lekzih

New Member
From the word DEPRESSION, it means a major depressive disorder which negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. But fortunately, ÐEPRESSION is treatable
 
Hi NB ,

Great job you guys are doing here at Nigerian Bulletin. I read a lot of your fantastic articles and I always look forward to the NB Weekly mag - I love every bit of it! :)

"Hell yes!", I shouted, upon reading your take on Depression; especially the definition and symptoms.

Why? Because I've experienced it:

In the early hours of March 30, my Father breathed his last-breath on the hospital bed, where he's been rushed to on Sunday, March 26, when his blood pressure rose above normal.

Even though he was 94-years-old, nobody wants him gone yet - all seventeen of his children, none wants him dead now. Despite the fact that, he was a disciplinarian to-the-core, we all know, he was one for our own good - To be honest, if not for my Father's disciplines, I won't be here today writing this comment. I'd have become a terrible troublemaker in the society, or even worse!

But, thanks to God and my loving Father, I'm what I am today.

Now the man that loves me so much...is no more, and you think I won't have that recurring feelings of emptiness and loss? You think I won't brood; lack energy and have long bout of sleeplessness?

Of course, I did. Even though I'm the confident type; always confident of myself and what my future holds.

However, like you've mentioned Community Support to be the fundamental way of treating Depression in this week's magazine, the support does come.

For the past twelve days, people have been trooping in to give us a word of comfort or two - from Church to Mummy's working place, friends, families and neighbors, they've come, and are still coming.

Six of my friends even asked me to call them if I need someone to talk to or need anything. Quite thoughtful of them, huh? :)

Thanks to God and my friends/family, I'm gradually letting go of the thoughts and memories of my Father. All I say nowadays is for his soul to rest in peace.

Truly, high-rate of women (esp. Nigerian women), are clinically depressed, but it's such a relief to know that the Medical Community has taken depression seriously, and that an authority website like yours can share some educative insights on Depression.

Talking about visiting professional therapists, where can one find them in Nigeria? Lagos, Ibaadan or... Sambisa? Lol.

Finally, it takes you, me and everyone else to drive depression out of Nigeria. We all need to stop seeing Depression as a way of taking responsibility for our obligations, stop mistaking Depression for Stress and get familiar with the unipolar & bipolar symptoms of Depression.

And, I'm going to start with sharing this NB mag with my friends and followers across my social media pages. I do hope y'all are not of the shy-type sha, 'cause I'll be tagging you in my captions.

Cheers
 

siteadmin

Administrator
@Adeboye Adeoye - we are truly sorry for your loss. May the soul of your father rest in peace and God give your family the strength at this difficult time.

You are truly blessed to have friends and family around you that are coming forward with the emotional support needed. Thank you for sharing your experiences and for giving others encouragement.
 
P

ProfRem

Guest
Good stuffs going on in here.

Back and forth, with various explanation on medical and psychological aspect of depression, but no one, has been able to mention economic troubles.

I was reading through some concept and fundamentals in Economics lately, and I got to understand that Depression comes when recession lingers on.

Why am I bringing Economic angle to this, 1. To look at government(s) aspect on individual's life and wellbeing and 2. To see what can be done, otherwise, as alternative factors to medical and psychological stress.

In our case, Nigeria, the country entered its four consecutive recession period in December 2016, with inflation and unemployment at higher rates in over years. What are the implication of this, simply put - DEPRESSION, economic recession period that lingers over consecutive months.

Family are depressed before take home pay of this time last year, year-on- year analysis has had multiplier effect on every household items especially the 3 basic ingredients of life, food, shelter and clothing.

Not to campaign further, I think government should as a matter of urgency look at the Economic implications of recession and proffers short term solution that will have immediate effects on ordinary citizen and in turn reduced level of mental stress on individuals.
 
M

mrsam

Guest
@RemmyAlex just had to bring in the government into this :D

The problem I have with this depression issue is the way depressed people are being ridiculed. I have seen two cases of where depressed people put on on social media how they thought of ending their lives. The comments that followed where cringe worthy to say the least. Those two later committed suicide.

An act of kindness, a word of encouragement, a simple positive post, a phone call can go a long way in providing help and support for sufferers.
 
A

abujagirl

Guest
One of the biggest problems about depression in Nigeria and Africa at large is - we never discuss it, the stigma associated with mental health issues is so much that we'll rather die quietly.
 
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