Saturday, 28 October 2017

Depression, What you need to know and how to help people with it.

“Na who die nai lose ooO, this world is too sweet”

This had always been my closing remark whenever I hear that somebody has committed suicide. Sometimes I speak Christianese and say “you’ll not only lose on this earth but go to hellfire.”

Even though life has not gone the way I wanted it, my heart has been broken countless times, friends have disappointed and betrayed me, death has claimed loved ones e.g. My father (Chief Ame), Uncles, Aunties, Friends even Babes/chics (lol) but never has suicide crossed my mind, until late 2016.

I was sick and didn’t know, not of the regular sickness like malaria, or typhoid, I was losing interest in life, tried finding solace in alcohol, sex, and company of friends, but hey, we spends the most time with our-selves, however short the time may be, in those short period, the urge to go out like Robbie Williams or Christian Benoit was very appealing.  

Just because you are rich and famous does not mean all is well, you can be more sicker, take it from me. I had started the New Warri blog and it was not doing badly, I had deadlines to meet with articles, but yet I was sick with a sickness of the mind that made me lose interest in everything and I doubt if even my wildest dreams would have made me well.

I was depressed, sad, and alone. No one to talk to, just keyboards, to punch my feelings on. The black-colored words on white computer screens don’t talk back, but with a solemn voice, reads out my imperfect perfect lamentations. I was among the statistics of the World Health Organisation, WHO, who had claimed that there are 322 million people living with depression in the world.

Depression is a big deal; we often think that its a white man or big man sickness, newsflash even poor men are suffering from it. You’ll agree with me that depression was in play when cases of suicide went up recently in Nigeria.

What’s Depression?
Depression is a state of low mood, distaste, antipathy, aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being. A mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity

This common mental disorder can cause people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.

A lot of things can lead someone into the lonely and tormenting road of depression from environmental, genetic, psychological, and biological factors. Depression can happen at any age, but in most cases, teenagers and young adults suffer a lot and Women are twice as likely to have depression and symptoms of depression, as men of the same age. It’s pertinent I point out that some depression can also be from heartbreak or people going through an unexpected divorce, many cases in Nigeria loss of Job, postpartum stress, or a feeling of under achievement etc.

Song of Solomon 8:6 ...Love is as strong as death, this was and still is very true. I had Loved like I have never loved anyone, Life with her was magical and then it happened, she said she couldn’t wait anymore, she said she can’t relocate to Warri, etc. Many she said, I Said and No, with disagreements and she left. I could have been able to handle the break up gracefully if I realized I was not the man with the keys to the manor of my heart, I gave it to her.

I tried over and over again to shut the doorway of my heart or open a new one and failed over and over again and with each failure I was slowly slipping into depression, I didn’t know until I was drowning in it.

Here are some of the ways I felt almost all the time

a.       I was never energized to do anything, always Fatigue, and no energy to even blog or take anything serious.

b.       I felt worthless and guilty. The repeated failure to shut the door or open a new one made me feel like a failure who can’t govern is heart. Every day I replay scenarios of past events in my head not, about how I could have done everything differently, blaming myself for many unavoidable mistakes and reading unnecessary meanings to past events.

c.       I found it difficult to concentrate, I can’t hold my thoughts for long, it just keeps wandering. Indecision became my closest ally because I was not thinking. Taking decisions on simple things were hard because I was not able to think and many times I kept second-guessing and thinking how uncool my plans are.

d.      Fourthly, sleep was a problem, I could not sleep. Alcohol became an antidepressant. For some people, depression can cause hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) but for me it was Insomnia.

e.       I became the “I will call you back” guy and won’t call back not for lack of airtime or disrespect, I was losing interest or pleasure in almost all activities.

f.       I was growing thinner and bony, I was barely eating and constantly tanking alcohol.

g.      And lastly, recurring thoughts of death or suicide was always on my mind, but God saved me.

Now, I know you want to ask, how did I get out? How was I able to find peace again? Here’s the truth, Do I still feel depressed sometimes? Yes I do, Do I still feel down and out, yes I do, Do I still make mistakes, O yes, always, but they are events and not me.

ü  Depression can be effectively treated with psychotherapy and antidepressant medications, I didn’t use drugs, but I talked to matured friends.

ü  I realized that there’s a thin line between love and hate and I’ve switched to the hate line and it was consuming me because I have refused to face my fear, accept and adjust to reality. I forgave myself and her even if she was not apologetic, I forgave her for myself.
I a
IalI realized, that my life is not all that bad, it will get better, i have to keep keeping up with what i am doing.

ü  I started returning calls, and dropped the Yes man syndrome (I hope you get the Yes man line, if you don’t, google Eddie Murphy Yes Man movie) I got involved in stuff, started hanging out more. I began doing more mind engaging and hand doing activities. (I played many ludo, chess, scrabble and Okor)

ü  My Mum’s Kitchen became my most favorite place in her house. I ate more healthy foods and fruits.

ü  I started running every morning and doing press up (I am no longer consistent with the routine now). But these routines kept me not just busy but productive.

ü  I cut down on alcohol and my friends started calling me Jedidiah, meaning gbogbonishe and jedijedi master.

If you’re reading this and you have anyone you suspect suffering from depression you should deal with the person with care and tact by doing the following from the World Health Organisation (WHO)

i.        Listen, offer support and don’t be judgmental.

ii.      Encourage them to seek professional help if possible and promise to accompany them to the appointment and don’t break your promise.

iii.    If medication is prescribed, help them to take it as prescribed and be patient with them.

iv.    Help them with everyday task, suggest and make possible regular eating and sleeping pattern.

v.      Encourage regular exercise and social activities.

vi.    Learn more about depression so you can be better equipped.

vii.  If they are thinking about self-harm or have attempted or already intentionally harmed themselves, ensure you do not leave them alone and remove sharp items, medications or firearms from them.

Share this

2 Responses to "Depression, What you need to know and how to help people with it."

  1. we are a 24/7 residential treatment facility for adults ages 18 and older with mental illness. we provide room and board, which includes 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, individual and group counseling. We provide psychiatric services and medication management. Our services help decrease hospitalization re-entry by providing continuum of care. we also provide life skills, work program, semi-independent to independent living preparation.
    life skills

    1. This is really great.

      Please send us a post about your work so we can share.

      Great work you are doing.

      More Grace.