Mental health is something we don’t talk about much in Nigeria. Now that the lockdown is taken a toll, there is the need to remove the stigma surrounding mental health so that those who need help can get it.
In secondary school, I learned about the power of the mind to make a person fall sick. I have been struggling with depression for 5 years. On April 14th, it got to a low point where my emotions could not be kept in. I would release them on the web.
The lockdown had been extended, my neighbour’s generator was blaring day and night, I had severe Malaria and Typhoid Fever. The entire cocktail made me want to let go.
There was no suicide attempt. However, I too am shocked by the things I wrote. Social media would make the tweets go viral. Sadly, it wasn’t what I wanted to trend for.
Bad Governance will kill Everyone
I would become depressed in 2015 after an accident where I would learn how to walk again. I hid my depression from my family because I didn’t want to go on medication.
The entire accident could have been prevented by speed bumps on the road. Ironic, that you could live you life minding your business and nearly die because someone didn’t do their job.
Breakdown in a Lockdown
If the goal of the lockdown was to increase despair among Nigerian youths, it was a resounding success.
Today, I am like Rocky in Creed I. I have lost my drive to contend. If something goes wrong at this point, I won’t be fixing it.
I didn’t have the heart to kill myself and that was why my thoughts landed on Twitter. It doesn’t mean that I am happy with things the way they are.
The next day, I would have a breakdown and land in hospital. Thus beginning a new phase of counselling and medication in my life.
I was triggered by the extension of the lockdown. If it had ended in the initial two weeks as planned, I would have been able to cope. I had managed my depression for 5 years. However, insomnia had set in and I could not get the medication I needed.
It’s All Down Everything
The country is a mess. We are approaching a recession. It would have been a time for superior leadership to rally the people, sadly they are hiding behind the pandemic.
I expect nothing from the current crop of politicians in power. They are meant to deceive the stupid and gullible.
When a person becomes depressed, they no longer care about themselves much less their relationships with others.
I have missed weddings, insulted people and generally been uncouth. I regret my behaviour in the past and promise to do better.
Given my behaviour, I am surprised how people rallied on the web. Not that it would change my will to kill myself if I was suicidal but I am surprised that I meant anything to anyone after the damage I had done.
This is my public apology: “I am sorry if I have offended you in the last 5 years. I was battling a depression alone and didn’t know how to ask for help”.
I and my family remain forever grateful to the team at Mentally Aware. I don’t remember my about the events of the next day but my mum said that they handled my admission.
My family got refunded the amount we paid to the hospital. I was not admitted. Due to the lockdown my family was given injections and medication.
Today I am on medication for my depression. I also take Malaria medication once a month with the goal of clearing it from my system.
Counselling sessions have begun. I got a recommendation for a good Psychologist from Mentally Aware.
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