Depression in Nigeria

Depression in Nigeria 

I heard of a young girl who took her life. So this week, I dedicate this post and the next one to people silently suffering from depression and how the rest of society deals with them.
Depression comes in different forms; lack of sleep or constant need to sleep, drinking and partying or locked indoors away from sun light, little to no food or need to eat everything in sight, constant tears or laughter and sarcasm to mask the pain, and lots more.
The above are just few ways people show their own form of depression. This week's title is not just focused on the depressed but how people react and this is what gets me angry.
Often times in Nigeria, when a person summons  the courage to say how he / she feels, the person is met with negative responses. He is either ridiculed or even insulted.
You hear responses like : 'what is making you depressed when you have this or that, when you drive such Porsche car', 'when your father is a wealthy man', 'when you live in a huge house' etc. 'Don't be stupid', they say, 'what are you thinking of that makes you depressed? Are you married or have kids that you are depressed? Don't be silly, what do you know about depression?'.
All these and many more responses are what people get when they open up about their inner turmoil and suffering. The thing people fail to realize is that it takes strength to speak up. Depression is no joke! But in Nigeria it is.
My advice to people who feel they aren't suffering from depression are;  

#1. Open your eyes to the people around you.
Someone doesn't have to ask for your help before you lend a hand. Some people suffering from depression will ask subtle questions to know how or what you think about certain issues and your response matters a lot to them. Don't be quick to give a snarky response, you maybe pushing them away. 

#2. Always check on people.
 There's been a trend going round, 'cut off people in 2018'. There's a lot to be said about that but I'll focus on our topic. There are some individuals who aren't good with keeping up with constant communication. It's not a bad thing to ring them up  "hey, hope you are ok? Just checking in, bye". Those few words mean a lot to people. They may be on the verge of jumping off a bridge, but do you know that knowing that at least one person cares can make them want to live.
I know and understand that there are certain individuals that give you bad vibes and energy, but it still doesn't mean that anyone that doesn't call you up in 3 weeks is snubbing you. Everyone has their own problems. 

#3. Listen, don't just hear.
Listening is a virtue! It's about trying to know the meaning of what another person is saying. Be involved in a conversation, don't just nod; pretending to be in when you're out.
So, when I say listen to them. Really listen, ask questions, take note (if need be), be there, not just physically but mentally too. Don't forget, we rise by helping others!
I do hope everyone suffering from depression can know and feel better. It's not an easy struggle. But you must stay strong!

Don't forget to leave a comment via your google account or anonymous. I love hearing your feedback.

Aisha is a young writer. She writes to promote everything about the African woman. And hopes to bring glory to the continent.

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