Monday, 6 August 2018
Weekend WOW Factor. Depression In Nigeria. Ft music from Brymo & Teni
According to recent studies, 1 in 5 Adults in Nigeria suffer from ( or experience ) Chronic Depression.
Across the continent, there has been a significant, yet under reported increase in suicides.
These findings certainly contradict the image of the ever smiling African.
'suffering and smiling' as Fela rightly stated.
Nevertheless, I do wonder, why the increase?
Could it be that our 1st world problems have also become 3rd world problems?
Could social media and our obvious interconnectedness not only enabled us to share our pictures, jokes, music and thoughts, but our issues as well? [click]
In the UK we are relatively fortunate, in that we have services to support people experiencing poor mental health, from low mood to the more extreme.
Whilst misunderstanding and stigma still exists , we have moved away from harmful practices, to the more humane.
Nigeria however, needs more support services and awareness, to counsel those with depression. To be fair, they are not too far behind, in that there is an increase of trained coaches and counsellors on hand, however it's a service that remains accessible mainly for those who can afford it
Nigeria (and Africa in general) will progress further when they see depression and poor mental health, not as a lack of faith or as a sin, neither a lazy attitude, but as a symptom of the wider world in which we live, where more people are under pressure to succeed against the odds, and empathy is lacking, and they are required to do more with less.
Many Nigerians may not even realise they are depressed, having lived with it for so long.
Another reason for the increase in depression could be the ever widening inequality, corruption, and the feeling of helplessness in actually being able to affect change.
People need to feel valued and worthy.
We need more 'just' societies
So against the odds, perhaps suffering yet smiling isn't so bad after all
Until such time...
Yes... keep smiling, a smile is contagious, and like medicine can heal wounded souls.