When it comes to mental health, the most important advice is to see a therapist, but many young Nigerians are saying going to therapy is a waste of time.
Young people talk about undergoing mental health therapy in Nigeria
Why do most young Nigerians detest therapy?
Most people who tried to get therapy in Nigeria complained about how religion played a major role in their therapy sessions.
A Twitter user posted online, “Tried therapy, would not recommend it in Nigeria.” and he got some pretty interesting replies.
Most therapists spoke to them about God even though they were irreligious. Even if they were religious, they were guilted into believing that their relationship with God had a role to play in their mental health issues.
Others reported that they threatened to report them to their parents, or the police authority (When it comes to the crimes, the therapist must report a crime to the police.)
Some people even report engaging in sexual relations with their therapists.
This pattern from Nigerian therapists and psychologists is very alarming because getting mental health care in Nigeria is not cheap. Taking so much from your salary or earnings and not getting the best mental health care is horrible.
This has made many Nigerians turn into unhealthy coping mechanisms like drugs, smoking, alcohol and partying and other means of coping though healthy do not get to the root of their mental illness. Listening to music and exercising are not ways to process your feelings and heal trauma.
Does therapy work?
Black people have always been sceptical about therapy, rather than opting for religion or more practical means (like distracting themselves with work) to deal with their emotions.
The truth is therapy works, but it is not magic! It might take years to unpack your emotions, plus you need help from a licensed and experienced therapist.
You have to be honest with yourself and your therapist and be ready to challenge yourself and do the things that would improve your life.
Ultimately, Nigerians need access to more ethical professionals who will not resort to religious manipulation.
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