Understanding Depression

There were congratulatory messages everywhere.

Joshua Ndukwe had just been promoted at work from the post of a Deputy General Manager to a General Manager in one of the new generation banks. This new position was very demanding because he had to cover various regions in Nigeria and Africa and report to the Regional Head weekly.

He was quite happy with this new position. It meant he could now afford better schools for his kids and improve on his lifestyle. But he knew that this also meant more expectations from relatives both on his side and from his in-laws. He had always had sleepless nights concerning these duties, his wife had 2 of her siblings living with them and he was responsible for their training/education. He was the first son in his own family and a lot was expected of him in terms of obligations. Whenever his parents had a function in the village he was required to attend and contribute financially. He also catered for the needs of his widowed sister’s five kids.

The burden was a lot on him.

His ever supportive wife noticed for about four months that he had been withdrawn at some point, was not eating and sleeping properly and lacked interest in his job and this was something that ordinarily he never toyed with. Whenever his favorite team, Manchester United was playing; rather than watch the match, he would lie down in his room in deep thought.

He began to have problems at work in terms of performance and was eventually advised by the Human Resources department to take time off work to sort himself out.

His wife made a bold decision to talk about this with her colleague at work who suggested he see a Psychologist. Three months after, Joshua eventually heeded to the advice and booked an appointment to see a Psychologist.

Careful assessment by the Psychiatrist led to the discovery that he felt hopeless, empty and had certain sensations over his chest which bothered him a lot.

He was told that he was suffering from a moderate depressive illness.

Mr. Ndukwe was surprised about this as he was not aware of such an illness in any of his family members.

After a lot of persuasion by the Doctor, he eventually agreed to commence with medication under the supervision of his wife.

Three weeks later, during his next visit to the doctor he had become more cheerful, reported good sleep and had put on weight. His productivity at work had also improved.

***

Depression is a type of illness that manifests with low mood, loss of energy and lack of pleasure in previously enjoyable activities. It can also affect sleep, libido and appetite. There can be associated feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and guilt, weight loss/gain and irritability.

In the severe form of depression, there will be associated psychosis which is characterized by strange behaviour, hearing or seeing strange things in clear consciousness. All these may eventually make an individual want to commit suicide.

Depression affects more females than males. Once detected it can be managed successfully with psychotherapy and the use of medications.

Do not wait until it is too late, talk to someone today.

Written by:

Dr. Charlotte Nwigwe

Mental Health Expert

www.happyfamilyhospital.com.ng

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The Power to BE

So many things are happening around me; lots of bad and lotssss of good.

So many of you know my battles with my health while others know my struggles with motherhood. This post isn’t to dwell on the bad but to highlight the good.

These past few weeks have been challenging (in a good way), I have stretched myself and pushed myself to do much more.

I recently began my social media management career and I must admit it has been challenging to keep up with. I find myself leaning more to my creative side and relying on my guts to post the right contents!

I have written more in the past weeks, exploring partnerships with other blogs.

I have partnered with a Mental Health Expert to enlighten my readers on all mental health related topics – cool right?!.

I am also pushing myself as a wife and a mom to make ‘better’ decisions that are best for my family (especially after realizing some major errors I made in the past).

Amidst all this, I have learnt that the power is in my hands to make everything right.

I have the power to be happy regardless of whatever is happening around me.

I have the power to influence my generation.

I have the power to love in spite of.

I have the power to do more.

I have the power to serve.

I have the power to lead.

I have the power to achieve greatness.

I have the power to be ME.

I know I am a work in progress, but I have found perfection in Christ.

I implore you to push yourself too. There is so much out there to be achieved, so much impact we can make. So much ‘Life’ to live!

DO NOT GIVE UP!

P.S. Notice that I have a domain now? That’s part of what I have pushed myself to do.

 

Help us Live

It saddens me greatly to see that the plague of depression seems to have caught up with us here in Nigeria. So many people in recent times are resulting to taking their lives as a means to an end even with a blossoming life ahead.

My condolence goes out to the family of the young man who took his life yesterday on the 3rd Mainland Bridge. Only God knows whatever mind battles he had just before he made that decision to take his life.

Depression is indeed a growing trend in our country now. Gone are the days where people were scared to take their lives for fear of going to hell, the days of it being a taboo have long gone.

I find myself concluding that this generation is exposed to so much pain and struggle, the threshold level of so many of us has declined greatly.

Many times, a number of us aren’t sensitive to the needs of others.

Just take a look at the on-going trend on social media these days.

People clap back, diss and curse each other for fun and our media isn’t helping. We find that people hype and make so much fun of others at the detriment of the feelings and self-esteem of others and for some weird reason, it’s okay!

As the world becomes a much harder place to live in, my goal is to encourage and motivate as many people as I can.

I am not to be misconstrued, I have my issues (a lot of you know this already) but what matters most to me is how I can help the person next to me be better.

It is not my prayer to know someone who will end up taking his/her life. I do not wish this even for myself.

I know I have treaded the path of depression but I am glad that that’s over now. It takes having the right people around you and ultimately finding solace in God.

Please read up on Depression and guard your heart against this epidemic diseases.

There is much more hope in living than cutting short your life.

Let us join hands to help each other stay alive as God has promised us an abundant life.

I know things may seem bleak right now but don’t lose Hope.

Remember, you are never alone.

Declaration 

I am strong even in weakness. 

I love even in hate. 

The world has given me thousands of reasons to cry but God has given me millions to celebrate. 

The world is filled with sadness, pain and depression is thriving. 

If only we cling to Him the one who makes all things right. If only we welcome Him into our homes to turn things around. 

Declaration:

I am Light for He shines through me, I am First because He put me first, I am Saved because He died for me, I am Me because He says so. 

Fallen

I have fantasies. Fantasies of him sweeping me off my feet. Fantasies of us running away together to a far place where it’ll be just us. Fantasies that one day this dream will come true.

I can see his muscles arced deep within. As he pulls me closer, my heart races. I have never felt so much joy and fear all at once. I closed my eyes and waited. Waited for his lips to touch mine. Waited for him to take me in. Waited for the fears to be drowned by his embrace.

I had fallen for everything he stood for, his every move made me tremble.

The sound of his voice made me melt.

Piercingly he looked at me, I felt he could see through me – through my defenses, through my actions, through my flaws. My walls came crashing down as he held me close. I wasn’t always this easy to access but he got to me, he knew me as I bared it all.

I think that was where I was flawed.

I had allowed him get deep inside me, see the sides no one had ever been privy to.

I am scared, so afraid to show my feelings. I had already shown way too much, gone way too far.

What would happen if he finds out? How will I face him? What will I say?

As I rested on him, my emotions were flooded with regrets. Perhaps I had gone too far with this one. What is the way out? How on earth was I ever going to get over this?

***

Lots of women find themselves falling for other men other than their spouses.

Sometimes, the reason is as little as their husbands not paying them enough attention. Other times, they actually put themselves in that position and suddenly wake up to their mistakes.

It is never too late to right a wrong. The devil tries to play it to us that we’ve gone too far, way beyond redemption.

This is not true.

If you find yourself here, please know that there is a way out.

Determine in your heart to stick to what is right.

Consider all that’s at stake in the event of you going ahead with your desires and remember, you are not alone.

 

 

 

THAT TIPPING POINT

Mary, a 30 year old hair stylist was introduced to Deji, a 41 year old school certificate holder wishing to relocate abroad.

They began an affair which blossomed into a full relationship.

After about four months, Mary discovered that she was pregnant for Deji.  At the same time, Deji secured his visa to travel to the United States of America.  It was an exciting time for both of them.

Mary introduced Deji to her parents and in no time, the initial marriage rites were performed.

Deji departed to USA six months into the relationship after a family thanksgiving and promised to process Mary’s papers so that she could join him. After Deji’s departure, Mary moved in with her in-laws to be.  She was happy attending her antenatal classes, receiving regular calls and money from Deji, while she remained expectant that her visa would be ready soon.

Months went by and Mary moved back to her parents’ house after the delivery of her baby girl in order to be with her mother. From time to time, she paid visits to her in-laws and all seemed to be well. Deji often sent things to her and their daughter whenever he had people coming to Nigeria.

By the time her baby was about six months old, Mary noticed that the frequency of Deji’s calls had reduced and each time there was also less enthusiasm in him regarding the progression of her USA visa application. When she complained about this, he attributed it to the stress of work. He also began to default in the monthly allowance he sent for their upkeep.

By the time their daughter turned two, he had stopped calling altogether.

Mary became increasingly worried. She tried to secure a stable job to earn a living but jobs were not forthcoming. She was hesitant to ask her parents for money since she was betrothed to her husband to be.

Eventually she resorted to having flings here and there with men just for the little money they could give her. During this time her two younger sisters had gotten married and left the house.  She got tired of all the endless questions people were asking about her fiancé and when they would get married.

Soon Mary noticed that she was having difficulty sleeping. Even when she managed to sleep, she woke up quite early and often felt tired during the day. Her appetite dropped, she lost interest in watching her favourite TV shows, her hair styling job and many other things she used to enjoy. She became increasingly weak, was very moody for most part of the day and cried occasionally for no reason.

About two months after she developed the above complaints, she began to mutter to herself and to laugh without reason. She would repeatedly scream Deji’s name while talking irrelevantly. She became violent and was threatening to kill herself or hurt someone.

***

The above is a relationship scenario that is prevalent in Nigeria although all do not degenerate into severe depression as the one above.

While the support network is very critical during the early development of the symptoms, Mary was only able to make a full recovery once she received psychiatric care.

We all have our tipping points.  How are you managing yours?

Written by:

Dr. Charlotte Nwigwe

Mental Health Expert

www.happyfamilyhospital.com.ng

Tonight… 

Tonight, I shiver. Tonight I cry.

 This moment I search for you. Where will my help come from? 

The walls come crashing down, the weight is too much to bear. Will this be my last moment? Death are you near? 

My heart tells me one thing, my head another. 

Remember the times I called on you, I know you have never failed me. 

Tonight, I call on you. Your yes is all I have.