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Mental Health 10 ways to overcome depression without pills

In the Nigerian society, unfortunately, depression is a scorned issue. You hear people say, “Africans don’t get depressed”. Yes, Nigerians may be tough but we are still human, so we do get depressed.

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Sadness is a normal emotional response to circumstances around us. However, most of us have support systems in place to overcome sadness. For the few who feel overwhelmed with prolonged sadness, here are ten tips to help you.

In the Nigerian society, unfortunately, depression is a scorned issue. You hear people say, “Africans don’t get depressed”. Yes, Nigerians may be tough but we are still human, so we do get depressed.

Woman play

Depression is a disease



There are two groups of people that go through depression. One group are those that have a severe chemical imbalance, which requires a doctor, and probably medication to treat.

This article is not for such people. Rather, this is for those in a funk or those who seem stuck in a depression, or lack the abilities and support systems to bounce them back.

Woman play

Depression is a disease



Honestly, the most lasting treatments for such people are natural treatments instead of medicating the symptoms. Thus, we’re looking at 10 ways to overcome sadness, without the happy pills:

Set goals:

It’s inspirational when we write down our goals. Our brain chemistry switches, neurons go up, hormones are released, and we start thinking about how we can make those goals happen.


Getting the right amount of sleep is good for our body and mind. Sleep deprivation is a cheap distraction for depression, that catches up to you within days. So, get enough rest.


If you can do it, try one hour of cardio (or as much as you can). If you’re tee-shirt is dripping wet, or you’re standing in a puddle of your sweat, and you can feel the endorphins ripping through your body, you did it right. I guarantee you happiness.


Many times we’re making ourselves sad for no good reason at all. People have been known to hold on to things for long periods of time. When you forgive, you rescue yourself from this pressure and put yourself in a position to be happier.


Complaining can cause us to be sad. Most times we just don’t count our many blessings. Sit down and make a list of 100 things you’re grateful for right now You’ll be glad you did.


Some people have a disorder, that is due to a lack of sunlight, they experience seasonal sadness during the rainy season. It may be easy to grab your iPod and go for 30 minute walks each day and get some sunlight.

Man play

Depression is a disease




This is a huge issue; we don’t drink enough water. The days when you drink only 1 cup of water, you don’t feel as good. When you remember, and drink 2-3 liters, you’re happy and effective.


This is your life force, support system, and everything that matters. It’s easy to make friends if you put the time in. Everyone wants to be paid attention to. Begin by listening, appreciating and loving, and it will come back to you.


Get out of the hustle and bustle of Nigeria and bury yourself in one of your favorite books. A lot of smart people have been through what you’re going through and they made it through to the other side to tell their story.


This could be an escape but not necessarily. You can write just about anything from fiction to the present moment and ponder on solutions. Many great books were written by people who were, in the moment,  going through a period of pain and suffering.

Being depressed can make you feel helpless. You're not. Along with therapy and sometimes medication, there's a lot you can do on your own to fight back.

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