Two days ago, Nigerians had to deal with a rather sordid story – A 35-year old Medical Doctor jumped into the Lagos Lagoon from the Third Mainland Bridge.
The question on most people’s mind is simply, why? Why would a seemingly successful man kill himself?
Alarmingly, a recent article on confirmed that more millennials are suffering from depression, anxiety , or some other form of mood disorder than ever before.
One of the hardest parts of depression in Nigeria is that, in the midst of it all, you are still expected to be a functional adult and stay on top of all your responsibilities. And while there are many great reads about how to deal with depression, we also want to share some suggestions for making it through—and even thriving.
If you’ve recognized that you’re depressed, then hopefully, you’ve already begun treatment— getting help is the best way to cope with your symptoms, which in turn will help you better manage your life.
Keep in mind that most hospitals in Nigeria offer some type of mental health treatment. If you’re unsure about whee to go, reach out to family and friends, and inquire about the specifics of treatment. Also read up all you can about depression.
It’s key to find a trusted friend or family, ideally an understanding one, who can support you through this difficult time. There will be tough days—some that seem nearly impossible—on the road to recovery, and it is important to have someone to lean on and talk to. Our society is highly critical of people with mental issues but talking to people who have been through similar experiences, would help immensely.
Support groups are also great way for knowing that you’re not alone in your struggle and learn coping strategies.
Set definite goals
Depression makes it nearly impossible for you to focus. But set very clear goals for yourself and be realistic about what you would be able to accomplish—and do it on a daily basis.
Create lists for the day and highlight your top priorities, and take copious notes if you think your memory retention might fail you. Do whatever helps you, and don’t be too hard on yourself when you have a difficult day. The road to recovery is a marathon, not a sprint.
If things are incredibly difficult, or if you need to take more time off work or school than your mental health days allow, you may need to say something.
Obviously, not everyone would understand, so don’t feel obligated to disclose details. If you’re worried people will wonder what’s going on, you can tell them that you’ve been “dealing with some health issues” and leave it at that.
Take care of yourself
It’s okay to take time to take care of yourself—in fact, it’s actually a very important factor in your recovery. Don’t ignore your symptoms because you’re so busy.
Finally, remember that you won’t only get through this, you may even discover new things about yourself because of it. In the meantime, find your village of support and don’t ever feel the need to suffer in silence. You are definitely not alone.