Miffed at the rising cases of depression and suicide in Nigeria, experts, Tuesday, gave insight on the causes and how to effectively manage and overcome the menace.
Disclosing this at the ‘Dealing with Depression and Suicidal Thoughts’ conference in Lagos, convened by a Tv Anchor and reporter, to mark her birthday, Miss Mary Chinda, warned Nigerians to be wary of the ailment, noting that Nigeria has been ranked 5th among countries with the highest level of suicide cases after South Korea, Russia, India and Japan.
According to her, societal pressure, personal targets, financial pressure and the emptiness caused by the lack of connection with God are top on the list of the causes of depression.
Citing World Health organisations depression statistics, the Port Harcourt- born journalist averred that one person dies by suicide in every 40 seconds.
Her words, “Depression is not a whiteman’s ailment as we were raised to think. It’s sad to know that at least 800,000 persons die by suicide each year.
“Depression that is not well managed leads to suicide. If we as individuals do more to accept that people get depressed, we could curb the increase in suicides.
“Beyond the peripheral pleasantries we exchange with friend, colleagues and loved ones, we must learn to go beyond to lovingly find out how people are faring.”
Explaining why she chose to host such a conference on her big day rather than put up a birthday party, Miss Chinda said, “This is what The Lord (God) would have me do right now. Someone has to stand up and own this dealing with depression/suicide campaign.
“More so, the increased suicide cases in Lagos break my heart. The recent Port Harcourt case of the man who killed his four children and committed suicide last week is equally disturbing. Suicide is never an option, it is not the first option, it is not the second and certainly not the last option.”
Also actress Bimbo Akintola who graced the event, sees depression as a mental health challenge that government and citizens must pay attention to. “When depression is not managed it leads to suicide. People should be open to seek help from agencies/organisations that are available.”
Child sexual abuse survivor, Anthonia Ojenagbon, while sharing her story on attempting suicide, was quick to note that no one is immune to being depressed or having suicidal thoughts. She recommended clinical therapy, medications and getting social support as ways to manage depression.