IN THE LIGHT OF the recent stories of suicides around us, it’s heartbreaking to read the insensitive replies of Nigerians who know little or nothing about this sickness known as depression. It’s irritating how our people think it’s something you can snap out of just like that.

They mistaken it with being “unhappy” or “sad” and as such they think it’s something you can fight easily. Some of you get so callous as to tell them to go ahead and kill themselves cos we are too populated here.

You’re extremely insensitive and deserve 12 strokes of the cane. You should cover your face in shame.

What some of you don’t actually know is that depression is a form of sickness, just like malaria or diabetes. And no one can wake up and “snap” out of malaria.

Depression is a serious sickness and soon you’ll understand why I want you to see it that way. So some of you guys can stop sounding like the depressed person who thought of killing himself actually could have helped it

I hear some of you sound like: “I’ve been depressed before and I didn’t kill myself, suicide isn’t an option.”

You all make me laugh.

I know you mean well, but you were not depressed. You were sad for some reasons and later became happy.

Lemme paint a picture so you’ll all get it and stop sounding sanctimonious. If you and I live dwell in a mosquito-infested room for a month, you could come down with malaria and become sick and I’ll not be sick.

At that point, your body has started working abnormally and you will begin to manifest malaria symptoms like fever, chills, bitterness of the mouth, joint pain, etc.

Would it then make sense for me to mock you for being sick because I didn’t develop same malaria despite being in the same room with you for a month?

Do you see how sanctimonious you now sound?

Depression can be mild, moderate or severe, and suicidal ideations are a feature of SEVERE DEPRESSION, same way cerebral malaria in a child tells us it’s SEVERE MALARIA.

Depression has a lot of causes, and in Psychiatry we call it “Precipitating factors”. They could be anything from:

~ Loss of family members

~ Loss of job

~ Academic issues (commonest cause among students)

~ Family catastrophe

~ Work wahala

~ Chronic medical illnesses like sickle cell disease, HIV, cancers, etc.

No matter the precipitatng factor, them bottom line is that the once-bright, loving happy person had suddenly become depressed (sick)😨😨😨.

This means that something in the brain had gone wrong. It’s a sickness, just like diabetes.

In depression, the brain had become sick, very sick. All those thoughts of killing themselves were not coming of their own accord. It’s the sick brain that’s causing it and you without a sick brain have no damn right to sound like an Apostle to them, same way I shouldn’t condemn you for coming down with malaria.

There are chemicals in the brain we call neurotransmitters, Serotonin and Norardrenaline,but mainly Serotonin, that helps keep people happy.

In fact, Serotonin is also called the “Happiness Hormone”. And in depressed people, the Serotonin levels had crashed so much that it’s almost non existent

Izzit their fault that their Serotonin levels dropped?

And you with normal brain and serotonin levels are forming “snap” out of it. “Fight it”.😒😒

Ifa catch you there eeh!😡😡

So from this moment onwards, begin to see a depressed person like someone with diabetes or hypertension.

It’s a disease and they didn’t bring it on themselves, but they can get help.

You can’t compare yourself to them cos you are not sick. They are sick, very sick, and they need professional

It’s the same way you would want to take your parent who has diabetes to get help at the hospital. I’m not sure you can tell your diabetic parent to “snap out of it.”

So I’ll stop here.

By Casey Amaefule

(MBBS Benin)

Read more on depression here

This he shared on Facebook


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