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Protect women from depression, Nigerian men urged

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By Chioma Obinna
NIGERIAN men have been enjoined to protect women from situations that may expose them to depression, even as it has been noted that one in every five Nigerian women is down with depression.

Making the call in Lagos last week during a workshop on “Depression in Women: Way Forward”, Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Joke Orelope – Adefulire said poverty was one of the root causes of depression.

Speaking at the event held at the Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, she said: “We should not expose women to psychological problems such as bullying harassment by husband or bosses, inadequate care from home and emotional problems.”

Chief Medical Director of the hospital,  Dr. Taiwo Ladapo blamed the problem of depression on stressful life situations and events women are exposed to due to their peculiar role in the family.

“In order to maintain their homes, they put in their all, and the many things go into it.  And when there is a dysfunction in the elements of the family, it gives them stress of various kinds.  The dysfunction could arise from such areas as troublesome or rebellious children, stubborn and irresponsible husbands, starvation amongst others.

He maintained that if not properly handled these women gradually become withdrawn, sad, unenthusiastic and develop low self esteem and life no longer has meaning to them.

“Depression is a serious condition that can impact every area of one’s life. It can affect career, social life, sense of self-worth and purpose, and family relationships. Generally anyone feeling sad, guilty, tired and generally down may be suffering from major depression.”

Stating that studies have shown that women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men, and Nigerian women are particularly vulnerable groups because of their hard work, commitment and dedication to the well -being of their families.

It was gathered athat women suffer depression more than men due to the changes in their hormones. Factors that can reduce depression in women include child birth and contraceptives, while persons who are too rigid may suffer depression in their life time. Experts also say depression can treated effectively as it is a common disorder, regretting that only 20 percent of sufferers access treatment due to stigma associated with psychiatric problems.

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