Depression: Psychiatrist wants women to speak out during emotional moments


A Psychiatrist with the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Dr Michael Njie, has advised women to stop keeping to themselves during challenges, to guard against depression and suicide tendencies.

Njie, also a Behavioural Therapist, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos.

He said women were prone to depression because they do not share their problems with others.

He added that “women tend to keep more to themselves when they have issues bothering them. They hardly share their worries like men do.”

Njie explained that women must learn to speak out and avoid keeping to themselves when facing challenges, as it could lead to depression, suicide or involvement in drug abuse.

The psychiatrist advised people with symptoms of depression to promptly seek medical help.

He decried the poor attitude of Nigerians toward psychiatric services, as most people would hardly demand for psychiatric services voluntarily, except when it became unavoidably necessary.

According to him, such attitude should be discouraged because mental health is as important as physical health and needs to be taken seriously to ensure total well-being.

He said “when a person gets extremely sick, most likely the individual will see a doctor; similarly, seeing a psychiatrist means the patient needs help and advice.

“Unfortunately in our societies today, going to a psychiatrist often suggests to family members that the patient is insane or a lunatic,” he said.

He identified stigma as the major factor that made many Nigerians not to seek psychiatric services or visit psychiatric hospitals.

He said that keeping mental challenge to oneself was “highly detrimental to health” and could lead to death.

“People hardly seek help for mental challenges because of the stigma that is usually associated with such situations. Unfortunately, by the time the challenge is discovered, it is usually too late.”

He advised people against such mindset, adding that such stigma had discouraged many people from seeking help early enough.

According to him, one can go for psychiatric services just to know his or her mental status, to ensure mental fitness.

He identified some of the symptoms of depression as overwhelming fatigue, sleeping disorder and internal feeling of loneliness.

Others are loss of interest in things that one initially derives joy from, inability to concentrate and the feeling of worthlessness.

“Very often, too, a depressed person appears lost in deep thoughts,” the medical doctor said.

He blamed the rise in depression cases to rapid global changes, adding that 90 per cent of people who commit suicide were depressed.

Njie noted that stress could lead to depression when poorly managed.

He described the trend as a global cause of diseases “because it affects an individual’s overall health status.”


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