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His ever supportive wife noticed for about four months that he had been withdrawn at some point, was not eating and sleeping properly and lacked interest in his job and this was something that ordinarily he never toyed with.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.
Dr. Charlotte Nwigwe
Mental Health Expert