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Lifestyle4 out of 10 Nigerian women depressed - Psychologist say


4 out of 10 Nigerian women depressed – Psychologist say

Dr. Akin Gabriel, a Clinical Psychologist at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Yaba, Lagos, highlights that approximately four out of ten Nigerian women experience depression.

He emphasizes that about 25% of these depressed women eventually reach a point of breakdown, necessitating treatment.

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During an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, Gabriel stated, “In this country, out of 10 women, four will have one form of depression or the other.”

Depression is identified as one of the numerous conditions linked to mental illness.

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Gabriel elaborates that mental health encompasses the capacity to cope with life, achieve potential and goals, manage stress, interact with others, and overcome life challenges.

The psychologist emphasizes that psychological well-being is a crucial aspect of overall health, often overlooked, yet capable of leading to physical ailments.

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He suggests that individuals can monitor their mental health by paying attention to subtle changes in themselves.

Gabriel encourages Nigerians to reflect on their mental well-being and recognize any alterations they observe in themselves.

Gabriel said, “Humans will begin to observe the changes within themselves though they may not understand these changes.

“When an individual realises that things he or she does with ease were getting difficult to be done or realise that situations they were able to easily manoeuvre is becoming complex, they should begin to ask questions.

“When an individual begins to have strange feelings; responds spontaneously to situations without a thought; easy to anger, always on edge, misdirects aggression, something is wrong.”

The psychologist further mentioned that additional indicators of depression could involve disturbances in sleep patterns, changes in appetite leading to weight fluctuations, reactions to financial pressures, and recurrent illnesses.

Gabriel also informed NAN that depression manifests as a disruption in a person’s thoughts and self-image, characterized by persistent low moods, diminished self-esteem, and feelings of self-deprecation.

“Depressed people think they have fallen short of assumed benchmark of achievements when they compare themselves with others, making them withdraw from people. Such people sometimes feel hopeless and unloved, leading to suicidal thoughts and actions,” he added.

Gabriel added that the changes in a person suffering from depression can be mild, moderate, or severe, with subtle symptoms that become more obvious if left untreated.

He said, “A depressed person may not dress like he or she used to, but still passable under mild depression.

“By moderate, others are beginning to notice some differences; the person is not looking as well kept as he used to be.

“Maybe the mood has dropped; the person is not as spontaneous as he or she used to be; there may be sleep issues, attention, focus, appetite and weight issues.

“If not taken care of, the symptoms will affect the daily life of the depressed person and everyone begins to notice because it affects relationships,”

The psychologist observed that while fewer men experience depression, they tend to suffer from more severe emotional and mood disorders.

However, he noted that cultural expectations of male strength and resilience often lead many men to silently endure their struggles.

Gabriel outlined specific signs to watch for in men, including increased alcohol and substance consumption, extended absences from home, and displays of aggression towards family members.

He emphasized that timely intervention can effectively treat depression if individuals seek assistance for the condition.

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