There is a new social media frenzy towards depression. This happens every time there’s a new occurrence of suicide. The whole country goes into a state of mourning and talks about how sad it is. Celebrities turn to motivational speakers and youths talk about opening up and going to talk to someone.
In the midst of my observation of this hypocrisy, I noticed a comment by an Instagram user. He asked, “Is Depression to be solved with a psychiatrist or a psychologist?”
The first thing to do is understand what depression is? How it works and the effects on the victim. Once we can do that, making a decision on how best to solve it will come forward.
According to Mayo Clinic,
“Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. Depression may require long-term treatment.”
Depression has been identified to be caused by changes in the brain chemicals which could be as a result of genetics, defects, prolonged low self-esteem or grief.
Depression has its stages and once it leads to a feeling of suicide then changes in the brain might have occurred.
How effective are the therapists in Nigeria? How effective is talking to someone? I get the feeling that a lot of people are judgemental towards depressed people and find it difficult to understand them.
I have heard this phrase from an older woman, “What does she have to worry about that is she is depressed? How old is she?” Some think it spiritual, a colleague of mine says “There is a spirit of depression.” Hilarious right?
My reasons for delving into the above is to question how effective talking to people is and how effective are these so-called Nigerian therapists if the vast majority of the people think like this.
Now for the psychiatric problems? There are certain anti-depressants to be taken by depressed people which help to counter the chemicals in the brain which are supposedly causing depressive symptoms. Can we trust the Nigerian health system to adequately treat these people with the right medications? I actually do not trust them with an organ as delicate as the brain.
There is also the case of discrimination and the uninformed reactions people give when victims of depression come out to speak out. This has negatively affected the rate at which people go out to seek for help.
To fight the battle of depression in Nigeria we firstly need to change our orientation towards it. We need to see it as a real problem. We need to look at in the way we look at HIV and Cancer. We need to understand that it is not a choice but a condition.
Affordable facilities where people can get counseling need to be set up. I admire the works of Mentally Aware and She Writes Woman and I believe more organizations need to emulate them.
We also made a video on this topic of Depression in Mobizone’s What’s hot?
You can watch it here:
What do you think can be done? Comment your thoughts below!