Depression crisis increases in Nigeria and people suffering from depression in the country, has gone into isolation living in shame and fear of seeking mental health help due to cultural traditions and social stigma.
_Depression crisis increases in Nigeria _
Nigeria still hanging on the name tag of the Africa’s strongest economy but hasn’t updated its mental health laws since 1958, and that’s taking its toll.
REAL LIFE INSTANCES OF DEPRESSION IN NIGERIA
1. Around mid last year, a woman traveling on her own car along the Lagos 3rd mainland bridge, suddenly stopped her car and and attempted to jump inside but she was withheld by on ground security agents.
It was later rumored that she was a victim of an online money site (MMM), that made away with many people’s money. But She was far from alone.
2. Last two months, former Five Star Music artistse, Harrysong, was reportedly isolated for more than one month on details that he had suffered from sever truma and depression.
A situation he himself confirmed, via his twitter page that same month. He told his fans not to cry on his behalf even if he eventually didn’t make it out.
According to him,”I have made it in life don’t cry if I die just empower the youths “. I guess that shows the height.
3. Again Late last year, 31-year-old taxi driver Hammed Olojo tried to jump into Lagos Lagoon. He was later charged with attempted suicide.
In Addition, Nigeria currently ranks 15th in the world for suicides, according to the World Health Organization, though comparisons to older data are made difficult by a lack of accurate record-keeping in the country.
But while attempts like Olojo’s make headlines in the country day after day, they’re also a warning sign of what could be a far greater crisis to come for Nigeria. africa’ strongest economic powerhouse. According to Nigeria’s first-ever National Depression Report …
60 MILLION PEOPLE — A WHOPPING THIRD OF THE POPULATION — REPORT EXPERIENCING DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS.
With a whooping 7 million people diagnosed with the depressive condition, according to WHO, In comparison, Ethiopia has 4.48 million, while the Democratic Republic of Congo has 2.87 million with depression.
This being said, the Stat place Nigeria top of the chart as Africa’s most depressed country, confirming reports that Nigeria Suffers Increasing Depression Crisis.
The National Depression Report, conducted by Joy, Inc., surveyed people about their feelings of happiness and depression across Nigeria’s 36 states.
Furthermore, More than 1,000 interviews conducted in all five major Nigerian languages found that, 31.6 percent of the population reported symptoms of depression and 27.8 percent reported symptoms of anxiety.
ALTHOUGH NIGERIA’S RATE OF RISE IN DEPRESSED PEOPLE ESCALATES, OVERWHELMING, GENERALLY DEPRESSION IS RISING AROUND THE WORLD TOO:
According to research conducted by the World Health Organization, WHO, depression has been the leading cause of disabilities. They also found that cases skyrocketed 18.4 percent between 2005 and 2015.
However, Nigeria has further obstacles. The same problem that the Senator representing the Southwest region, Ben Bruce had earlier commented about:
He Said that the country has long failed to collect data, basically on every aspect and the mental health aspect has also been left out.
This has prevented experts and authorities from developing coherent policies to fix the situation.
“To do well in addressing depression, [many] more studies are required. The data and information available through research are far less than enough,” says Dr. Joyce Omoaregba, senior consultant psychiatrist at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in southern Nigeria’s Benin City.
NIGERIA HAS NO MENTAL HEALTH LAWS OTHER THAN THE COLONIAL-ERA LUNACY ACT, WHICH DATES TO 1958.
But far from being a big issue, depression, like other mental health issues in Nigeria, is shrouded in secrecy.
People suffering from depression in Nigeria has gone into isolation, living in total shame and fear of seeking mental health help due to cultural and ethnic traditions and social reaction.
For Damola Morenikeji, a researcher with Joy, Inc., stigma is a huge problem.
“People can’t come out and talk about facing depression,” he says. Beyond confirming the crisis, he says, the aim of the study is to give people the courage to seek help.
Nigeria has no mental health laws other than the colonial-era Lunacy Act, which dates to 1958 and allows legal and medical authorities to detain those deemed to be mentally unhealthy without many guidelines or processes reflecting a modern understanding of psychiatry.
In the absence of laws and effective policies, some turn to traditional(Native Doctors) and spiritual healers(Pastors And prophet) for help.
A clinical psychologist with Neem Foundation Dr. Bem Tivka — a nongovernmental organization offering psychological support of traumatized survivors of the Boko Haram conflict in northeast Nigeria — says many Nigerian’s suffering from depression don’t recognize it as an illness so they opt to visit spiritual authorities rather than medical ones.
He says:“Sometimes, people attribute their mental health situation to witchcraft attacks.” Others turn to street drugs like codeine rather than medications, which are often unaffordable. Without government and community support, Tivka says, these negative coping mechanisms will continue to prevail. Education — and new laws — is sorely needed.
Nigeria is set for severe catastrophe judging by a study conducted by Who in 2014.
According to the discovery, on average around the world, there are at least ten mental health workers per 100,000 people. But to the plight of the Nigerian citizens, only one for every 1 million people, are metal health workers. Referencing by this stat, only 200 psychiatrist personnel can be found in Nigeria.
According to Dr. Gabriel Onyeama of the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria, that’s not just an issue of not enough doctors choosing to specialize in psychiatry. It’s also one of brain drain.
“Many of the psychiatrists we produce in Nigeria end up in developed countries,” he says.
For those who qualify and choose to stay, there aren’t enough job openings every year. Before Nigeria can solve its doctor shortage, it must first hold onto the doctors it trains.
I hope this article can inspire Nigerian youths to see the necessity in studying more of mental health courses, which will in turn help reduce Nigeria’s Increasing Depression Crisis and help depressed person’s across the country.