Nigerian singer, Mocheddah,has narrated how she suffered depression for over 4 years via her Insta-story. According to her, she was scared to speak up at first over fear of being labelled crazy, but she did and has been on therapy for two years now. She concluded by stating that she is happy, strong and okay now
Her post reads;
Mocheddah’s posts came after a Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Ibironke Thomas, called for more awareness, continuous education, early detection and treatment to reduce the burden of depression in Nigeria. Thomas, who works at the Synapse Services Centre for Psychological Medicine, Lagos, made the call in an interview with the Newsmen on Friday in Lagos.
According to her, mental disorders, including depression, are still not regarded as serious health problems in the country.
“Depression is a medical illness contributed to by an interplay of both biological factors, that is, genetic predisposition, hormones and neurotransmitters and environmental factors such as adverse life events.
“Due to lack of awareness, many people do not know that they or someone they know have depression and try to cope with it sometimes for years without the necessary help.
“Although, knowledge of existence of mental health problems is improving with education, information dissemination through the media and NGOs, the level of this awareness is still quite low. In general, psychological illnesses are not regarded as `serious’ problems.
“There is also a lot of stigma and discrimination attached to people who have psychological disorders. People usually seek help when symptoms become severe, incapacitating or embarrassing, “ she said.
The consultant psychiatrist also urged the governments and relevant stakeholders to put more attention and resources, including trained staff, into developing and equipping the Primary Health Care (PHC) system. She said that most of the detection and initial management of depressive disorders need to be at the primary healthcare centres in the rural and semi-urban communities.