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Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by eleojo23: 7:30pm On Sep 08, 2014
This is a true life story about what happened to my friend. Yes, the events in this story happened right before my eyes.

Gabriel and I have been friends since primary school. We went to school together everyday while in secondary school. Gabriel was much better than me in terms of grades because his average scores were always higher than mine. He is naturally quiet but when we are together, he does most of the talking. He is someone who always comes up with unique ideas and views on how things should be done. He is a very confident person who can convince people to do things.

At some point in secondary school, he began having recurrent typhoid and malaria such that he treated it more than thrice a year. He missed school because of it sometimes. It became a regular thing for him to always treat malaria once in a while.
But things took a turn for the worst when he started to feel unsure of himself. There was a time he told me while we were reading together
''I don't even know what/who I am anymore''
Being naive then, I just brushed it off as one of his 'tantrums' because he could get really angry at things and blurt out words sometimes.

But his condition deteriorated. He began to have difficulty concentrating on his studies, lost interest in singing his usual songs (he has a good voice), he started skipping meals, slept little and became generally gloomy. As I would find out later, he even thought much about suicide (nobody including me knew about it)
'How could Gab possibly be thinking of suicide?'
That would have been our reaction then if he had ever told us about it.

A few years past and we were already in the university. The symptoms I stated above came back. He began to have a hard time in the university and he was already contemplating quitting school entirely.

At one time, he came down with his usual malaria and typhoid and went to the hospital. Usually when he goes to the hospital, the doctors would already conclude that he was having his usual bouts of the Plasmodium and Salmonella infection. But this time, the doctor who examined him decided to probe further and ask him some few questions. He sensed that he had a more serious problem than just malaria. The doctor called his mum and told her
'This boy looks depressed'
When I heard it, I could not bring myself to agree with the empirical diagnosis.
I said to myself 'No way, Gabriel doesn't have depression. He's just having recurrent malaria. Maybe the doctor mistook his quiet nature for depression'
But I was going to be proved wrong a month later. I guess his parents hesitated a bit before deciding to let him see the doctor again. And so after his visit to the doctor, he came back and told me the diagnosis -depression.

I asked myself 'how?!' I was shocked. I had never come across anyone who had it and if anyone should have it, why did it have to be Gabriel?
It was then it dawned on me that there are a lot of persons who may appear fine on the outside but on the inside, they are suffering from depression. And that explains the downward turn of things in the life of some of them.

My friend was placed on medication and I saw the old Gabriel come alive again.

Just like most Nigerians, I was caught up in the error of thinking that we can't have people who suffer depression.
There are many causes of depression. In the case of my friend it wasn't suffering (harsh conditions of life) or the loss of a loved one.
It was due to a chemical imbalance in his brain and maybe stress if I may say. The pathology of depression is rather complex and a lot of factors come into play. One thing however that should be clear to all is that depression is not madness as some people regard it.

While my friend was struggling with it, I could not tell anyone that he had depression.
There are many persons who are suffering from depression but cannot admit it because people around (family and friends) would not understand it and probably make them feel even worse. They tell them
'Just get over whatever it is that is disturbing you!'
There is a huge stigma attached to being depressed and it is not recognised as a valid condition that someone can suffer from. Even when it is acknowledged, it is regarded as one of those things that only 'oyinbo' people suffer. People around here are quick to demonize everything that is out of the ordinary. There are persons who become alcoholics because of depression and their lives take a turn for the worst but rather than seek for the real cause of the problem, people attribute it to witchcraft influence. What has alcoholism got to do with witchcraft? I am a christian and I know how spiritual everything is- but there is surely a place for psychology, medicine and psychiatry. Not every thing is the devil's doing. There are challenges that are not induced by the devil.
We have to accept the reality that Nigerians also suffer depression and those affected should not be left to suffer alone. We must try to help them when we come across them.

If you know anyone affected, recommend the person for professional help so that his condition can be properly handled.

Extend a helping and supporting hand to the depressed today and the very first thing they need from you is your understanding

Got a story to share? Feel free.

95 Likes 28 Shares

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by eleojo23: 7:32pm On Sep 08, 2014
In order not to further lengthen the original post, I did not go into full details on the signs and symptoms of depression. There are good online articles on the subject that you can read.

But for the sake of this thread, let me share a little on the subject.

The Federal Government Source for Women's Health Information defines "depression as an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things." It's more than "feeling blue" or "trying to pull yourself together" and you can't wish it away.
There is no single cause of depression. It runs in some families but people with no family history also become depressed. Other causes include stressful life changes, like divorce, losing a job, the loss of a loved one, or a serious illness.

What are some of the symptoms?
-Always feeling sad or empty
-Lack of interest in favorite activities
-Feeling irritable
-Crying a lot
-Feeling guilty, worthless, or hopeless
-Sleeping too much or not at all
-Eating too much or not at all
-Problems making decisions or
concentrating
-Thoughts of suicide and death
-Drinking and using drugs

If you're feeling any of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks, you should get professional help.

23 Likes 6 Shares

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by Kanwulia: 11:17pm On Sep 08, 2014
What is the point of this your topic sef? undecided
Do you have the magical pills for sale on NL?

Many NEED them o! cry

1 Like

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by anonimi: 2:47am On Sep 09, 2014
eleojo23:
Just like most Nigerians, I was caught up in the error of thinking that we can't have people who suffer depression.
There are many causes of depression. In the case of my friend it wasn't suffering (harsh conditions of life) or the loss of a loved one.
It was purely a mental case (hormonal/chemical imbalance if I may say).

While my friend was struggling with it, I could not tell anyone that he had depression.
There are many persons who are suffering from depression but cannot admit it because people around (family and friends) would not understand it and probably make them feel even worse. They tell them
'Just get over whatever it is that is disturbing you!'
There is a huge stigma attached to being depressed and it is not recognised as a valid condition that someone can suffer from. Even when it is acknowledged, it is regarded as one of those things that only 'oyinbo' people suffer. People around here are quick to demonize everything that is out of the ordinary. There are persons who become alcoholics because of depression and their lives take a turn for the worst but rather than seek for the real cause of the problem, people attribute it to witchcraft influence. What has alcoholism got to do with witchcraft? I am a christian and I would be the first to tell you how spiritual everything is- but there is surely a place for psychology, medicine and psychiatry. Not every thing is the devil's doing. There are challenges that are not induced by the devil.
We have to accept the reality that Nigerians also suffer depression and those affected should not be left to suffer alone. We must try to help them when we come across them.

This is a very good thread that addresses something we Nigerians would prefer not to even discuss/acknowledge talk less of addressing it.
Thanks.

However, the highlighted phrase could have been better expressed as "a mental HEALTH case". The way you have expressed it may be construed as madness (mental case), which I imagine is NOT what depression is and also not the meaning that you wanted to convey.

Salam!
Shalom!!
Peace!!!

13 Likes

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by eleojo23: 4:04am On Sep 09, 2014
Anonimi, you're right. Anything 'mental' is misconstrued as madness. Schizophrenia is a more appropriate term for madness. Thanks for pointing that out.

5 Likes

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by eleojo23: 6:26pm On Sep 09, 2014
Feel free to contribute.
Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by Nobody: 6:49pm On Sep 09, 2014
lipsrsealed
Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by Haywhymido(m): 7:00pm On Sep 09, 2014
I was here
Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by Excelboi(m): 12:08am On Sep 10, 2014
Depression is real and I have suffered from it twice. I just got over the second episode about a week ago. I'm currently on medication and everything is totally normal now. If you are feeling depressed, you need to see a psychiatrist and you maybe put on meds. Pity and hope doesn't work with depression, sometimes you can't fight it alone, you have to seek a professional help.
If you sense that you don't like doing what you like doing before, getting sad over a particular incident for a long period of time, sleeping too little or sleeping a lot, crying without helping it, then there is a possibility you are suffering from depression. The illness doesn't look face, it can affect infant, adolescent and adults and no matter how rich you are, it can attack you. An example is a case of an American celebrity who died some few weeks back. Depression led him to suicide. So try not to get shy and seek for help. And most importantly, it's not everyone you should tell that you have depression. They may make it worse.
Some people get over it through therapy, while some others are put on prozac (one of the best drug for fighting depression, though very powerful) and cognitive therapy to fight it. Sometimes exercise help. If you need advise and help on how to combat it, you can speak up here or contact your nearest psychiatrist.

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Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by vikel2104: 4:59pm On Sep 10, 2014
brb
Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by vikel2104: 5:09am On Sep 11, 2014
A very important topic on a reality that we choose to ignore. A lot of people suffer depression among us but you wouldn't know.

5 Likes

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by justi4jesu(f): 5:55am On Sep 11, 2014
Haywhymido: I was here

No one noticed tongue
Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by CharlieMaria(m): 5:55am On Sep 11, 2014
...
Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by freshness2020: 5:55am On Sep 11, 2014
Really ?
Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by kenbee(m): 5:56am On Sep 11, 2014
so, I'm not a Nigerian
Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by driand(m): 5:57am On Sep 11, 2014
too early to read such!

2 Likes

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by merit12(f): 5:59am On Sep 11, 2014
Na only me followcome,I will be. Here. No l

1 Like

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by alienware(m): 6:02am On Sep 11, 2014
I suffer bouts of depression too.... Thats the reason i have been awake since 2:0am. Looks like i have been entombed in this concrete box of depression.

2 Likes

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by rill: 6:03am On Sep 11, 2014
So depression suppresses the body's immune system?

3 Likes

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by LMAyedun(m): 6:04am On Sep 11, 2014
justi4jesu:

No one noticed tongue
I did. grin >

1 Like

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by Nobody: 6:08am On Sep 11, 2014
depression..
im a victim.....but ive gotten over it

1 Like

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by justi4jesu(f): 6:09am On Sep 11, 2014
LMAyedun: I did. grin >

Who called you angry tongue cheesy

1 Like

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by kobonaire(m): 6:10am On Sep 11, 2014
Depression is real. It knows no ethnicity, race, gender or skin colour. One should not feel bad/embarrassed about being depressed. Seek the necessary help. If you know a friend or family member that is depressed, please try and help out while ensuring you do so in a sensitive and empathetic manner.

5 Likes

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by Nobody: 6:11am On Sep 11, 2014
Thanks to the OP for this post. May many depressed people be helped by this.

1 Like

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by habex005(m): 6:12am On Sep 11, 2014
Depression is everywhere. Its only when U get close that you understand what people are going through on the inside.

1 Like

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by Mubby4luv(m): 6:12am On Sep 11, 2014
Everyone suffers from depression at some point of their life mostly mid age and old age. God save us from depression

2 Likes

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by LMAyedun(m): 6:13am On Sep 11, 2014
justi4jesu:

Who called you angry tongue cheesy
Seun did. grin

1 Like

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by amakufrancis(m): 6:16am On Sep 11, 2014
can I comment without reading?

1 Like

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by VocalWalls: 6:17am On Sep 11, 2014
Cool story

1 Like

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by kadas01(m): 6:18am On Sep 11, 2014
Thanks a lot Op! This is a very enlightening and educative topic that would be of help to many out there!

From personal experience, reading spiritual books depending on your "faith and conviction" could be of very great help! What is most important is the "inner strength" to overcome depression!

The Lord Almighty is our strength!

5 Likes

Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by Funniez: 6:19am On Sep 11, 2014
Space booked
Re: Nigerians Don't Suffer Depression, Really? by mecussey(m): 6:19am On Sep 11, 2014
vikel2104: A very important topic on a reality that we choose to ignore. A lot of people suffer depression among us but you wouldn't know. Mynd44, please move this to the frontpage.

Are you indirectly saying that Mynd44 is also suffering from depression?

4 Likes

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