Crazitive African Magazine Issue 12 - Page 2

DEPRE SSION Depression is one of the most common mental health problem "Depression is more than just feeling “down.” It is a serious illness caused by changes in brain chemistry. Research tells us that other factors contribute to the onset of depression, including genetics, changes in hormone levels, certain medical conditions, stress, grief or difficult life circumstances. Any of these factors alone or in combination can precipitate changes in brain chemistry that lead to depression's many symptoms" but that takes us to something more important. Are we, as Nigerians, mentally aware? That friend, yes the friend you have that just suddenly cut everyone off and changed her appearance. He/she may not be prouding na. You are there thinking he/she dun change levels. They don't want to talk to you anymore. They are now gapaing. Maybe they are actually suffering from Depression. They may be having sucidal thoughts. They may be silently crying out for you to reach out to them. They need you. There are so many undiagnosed mental health issues amongst us. There's this horrible stigma (in Nigeria) that's reserved for any mental problems. 'you are depressed? Oti nyilori niyen o'. Some Nigerians may be scared to get a diagnosis because of this stigma. And without a diagnosis your chances of getting adequate treatment is actually slim Depression, Phobias, OCD, having hallucinations, delusions and the rest are actually MENTAL illnesses. Chemical imbalance, low levels of certain neurotransmitters results to some of this mental health disorders. #bewoke. You wanna be woke? Better be woke on the right things. I'm not saying they can't curse you to get mad o. Before awon Aye will come for me All I'm trying to stress out is the fact that these disorders are psychological and/or neurological. And they can be treated - psychotherapy, CBT, drug therapy etc. Pls seek out a professional if you are having hallucinations, experiencing low moods, having suicidal thoughts etc. You ain't 'running mad'. You ain't abnormal. You ain't alone. 2.6 in 100 people have been diagnosed with depression. It's beyond your control. We need to; *Join the “woke” train and get ourselves checked out. *Eradicate the stigma associated with mental health diagnoses *Reach out to one another *Be aware of the risk factors and warning signs of suicide .We all need to come together to raise awareness on mental health disorders in our country. OLARINOYE Rasheedat