Someone says, “Suicide doesn’t take away the pains, it gives it to someone else.” Nigerian Singer, Olubankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W along with the founder & CEO of the record label, Triple MG, Ubi Franklin have spoken out on how to overcome depression and suicidal thoughts, which are unfortunately two of the recent ‘plagues’ affecting millions of Nigerians.
Speaking at a masterclass event themed “Dealing with Depression”, Ubi shared a personal story about his previous depression and suicidal thoughts.
The single dad-of-1 who spoke on the masterclass which was focused on the principles of human flourishing, well-being and living a life leveraging positive emotions, healthier habits and powerful self-awareness practices, explained the need to avoid creating negative pictures in the mind or attaching importance to specific dates that represent bad moments.
He advised those going through the dark phase to use such days or moments as an impetus for success.
“There’s never a right moment to commit suicide. It’s all about the mind. Depression is usually created through silent pressure which will create a negative mindset, perception, or the compulsion to live our lives in order not to disappoint our parents, families or communities.”
In June, Ubi, who has always be opened about his battle with depression, says he was depressed for nine months after his marriage fell apart.
The estranged husband of Nollywood actress, Lilian Esoro shared the story in a post on his Instagram page.
“It all started precisely from the month of July 20, 2016 to March 2017 thereabouts. I was quite depressed badly and it became so bad that my life began to deteriorate so much that I literally don’t eat and I don’t sleep so much so that my family and close friends became really scared,” he wrote.
“My life deteriorated so bad that I became a regular patient at the hospital to be treated for one ailment or the other. I show up at events looking lost and drained. But you know you just have to keep the face, like everything is ok.”
Franklin wrote about how material things failed to get him out of depression and how thoughts of his son stopped him from committing suicide. He continued:
“One time, I bought the car of my dreams, thinking that the depression would stop but to my dismay, it increased though the reason for my depression wasn’t the car. I finished paying my mortgage and yet the depression got worse.
“One Saturday night, I was driving home filled up with suicidal thoughts. I was so scared and all I kept saying and asking myself was ‘Who will take care of my son?’
“I got home and was acting funny. My security guard had turned on the generator and I screamed at him to turn it off that I need some peace and quiet.
“I was in a dark house all by myself and everything was falling apart. There was money, food and roof over my head but I was deeply out of order. I kept hearing this baby voice around me saying Daddy don’t go, I don’t know you yet. I wept. That was my turning point.”
READ ALSO: 8 Ways to Fight Depression
Franklin said his pastor’s message helped him overcome the trials.
“Right after that message, my life was not the same again because I strongly believe it was tailor made just for me from God. Trust me when I say it was tough.”
Banky W, who also spoke at the event, shared a deeply personal story of how he dealt with and overcame depression, and recommended a “love yourself enough to try” attitude to life.
In a joint session, Gbonjubola Abiri, a psychiatrist, medical doctor and member of Joy Inc.’s advisory board, and Gbemisola Ogunrinde, a psychologist and member of the Central Working Committee at Joy, Inc. engaged participants on therapeutic mechanisms towards preventing and overcoming depression.
“No one is immune to depression, so as long as you have a brain, you can succumb to it. Some people are vulnerable due to their biological condition, or any other facet, which many therapists have to look out for.
It can also be a combination of different factors, so it becomes necessary that to address the issue, every professional needs to find out the source of the problem.”
Ogunrinde added that “victims of depression need to open up and talk to people – that way, it becomes easy to identify the problem.”
The Joy Masterclass is in partnership with “Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative” and “She Writes Woman”- two internationally recognized non-profit organizations working on mental health in Nigeria.