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Psychologist begs Nigerians not to treat depression with alcohol, drugs

The psychologist believes people are bolder to seek help when they feel a need.

The psychologist says using alcohol or substances to cure depression can complicate the issue [Shutterstock]

The psychologist, a director at the institution, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday that people were becoming aware of their mental health and bolder to seek help when they felt there was a need.

"More young people are presenting at the hospital. We're having more of that. Young people within 16 are coming to the hospital with complaints that could be eventually diagnosed as depression or anxiety disorders.

"The generation now are quite informed; they have a lot of information on their hands. They are looking for that extra that will help them manage the information they have to help them out of their situation," he told NAN.

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Gabriel cautioned against judgmental statements or behaviours toward individuals perceived to act out of normal. The psychologist further cautioned against the use of alcohol and other substances in coping with feelings such as low mood, which could be linked to depression.

He emphasised that resorting to alcohol and substances use to feel better or elevate one's mood was only temporal and could complicate the issue.

"It is just for a short while; after the substance has cleared from the system, they require another one. That is where the cycle of addiction actually starts," he said.

Gabriel urged individuals who experienced signs and symptoms associated with mental ailments to seek medical help.

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