Celebrate World Mental Health Day by checking on your friend and checking yourself
Gone are the days of when Nigerians doubted mental health issues and claimed we couldn’t have mental illnesses or that a bottle of Gulder and money will cure depression.
Millennials go through a lot of rigorously draining exercises. Even Lagos Traffic and our partners can inject us with the mad reality of mental health.
It is difficult not to acknowledge mental health and what it means. There are however a handful of mental illnesses afflicting Nigerians than others. To commemorate #WorldMentalHealthDay they are;
Depression usually needs a trigger and Nigeria is littered with triggers for depression. Your job isn’t paying you well, you feel inadequate for your partner, you can’t pay your bills…
Your life feels like a bad joke, Lagos drains you every day and so forth are triggers for depression. In February 2018, World Bank released a study that says 22% of Nigerians suffer depression.
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It is not far-fetched, depression isn’t written on the face. It is one of the most vicious killers in the modern world as it makes people feel worthless, lonely and unloved.
Usually, everything just ceases to make sense. Over the past year alone, the world has lost celebrities like Mac Miller, Chester Bennington, Zombie Boy, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain to mental health-related deaths or suicide.
When people say, ‘Check on your friends,’ please do. Laughing and joking doesn’t mean people are okay. Please, spot the signs.
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Basically, PTSD connotes the presence of a traumatic event. Like depression, it needs a trigger to dictate the unfortunate presence of a trauma.
Unpopular things like rape, war, accident, robbery, loss of a family member, near-death experiences or even the loss of a job and the manner of it all can cause PTSD.
People stuck in the war-torn zones also suffer from PTSD as IDP camps in Northern Nigeria will be flooded with people who suffer symptoms like heightened senses, paranoia, insomnia and so forth.
For other, symptoms can be subtle and unpronounced. Let’s hope people get this treated.
3.) Bipolar disorder
If you know the rapper, Kanye West, you know what bipolar disorder looks like. A fictional depiction can also be found in Homeland character, Carrie Matheson, portrayed by Claire Danes.
Also called manic depression, it is characterized by symptoms like heightened emotional sensitivities, proneness to outbursts and outrageous showing of rushing emotions.
Other symptoms are mood swings, energy shift or incoherent thoughts. There is also the tendency to act out of character during episodes.
Bipolar disorder can be treated medication and therapy. Sometimes, it’s long-term, but most times, it’s short and not chronic. Unconfirmed reports say Nigeria has 1.5 million cases per year.
It means Obsessive-compulsive disorder and its characterized episodic fits of mad focus on keeping something the way it is.
It is also characterized by a need for rituals to compulsively wash hands, or keep certain places neat and organized.
That your friend that likes keeping his cutlery at the same place or obsessively buys things in twos probably has an OCD.
Unconfirmed reports say Nigerians have an average 800 diagnosis yearly, so it’s slightly rare, but not obscure.
In extreme cases, patients have crippling fears when they don’t perform these rituals and it terrible.
A leading mental illness in Nigeria, millennials and even old people, suffer one addiction or the other; like porn addiction, sex addiction, drug addiction, shopping addiction or even food addiction.
An addiction is like an OCD with supposed instant gratification from whatever it is that person is attached to.
Addiction impairs concentration and the ability to adequately engage in daily life. It entails a fixation and dependence on certain things to live.
In terrible cases, patients cannot even function or think of any other thing asides whatever they depend on.
A key addiction that most of us deal with is social media addiction. For some, it’s the internet or phone addiction. A lot of us don’t even realize.
Please check your excesses today and test yourself for any illnesses impairing your mental health.