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Nigerian Teacher Advises On Depression And Highlights its Devastating Effect As His Former Student Commits Suicide

Nigerian Teacher Advises On Depression And Highlights its Devastating Effect As His Former Student Commits Suicide

It’s so disheartening that depression and its ugly effect has refused to leave our space despite all the efforts that are being made to curb the menace. Or, could it be that the efforts are not up to par with the challenge? Depression- its effect, how to manage it and/or how to manage people who are going through it, etc. has been the subject of discussion on many platforms of late.

A Nigerian teacher, one Mr Kaka Babatunde has taken to social media to advise people battling with depression to “Please stay strong.”

Mr. Babatunde claims that he recently lost one of his former female students due to her battle with depression. According to him, the deceased, a former student of Sunny Bright Academy, Sangotedo, Lagos, committed suicide.

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Mr. Babatunde wrote:

“No matter what we go through, no matter how depressing, traumatic and heart -wrenching the situation is, please stay strong and be hopeful. Our precious lives can’t be held into ransom by a few who are hell bent to destroy us.

If possible, purge out everything to a trusted fellow other than bottling up everything till suicide becomes the last option.

I’m sending my condolences to friends and families of one my dear students who gave up on scary circumstances. It’s so painful to become a lesson to others. The news of ur demise was shocking and hurtful.

Take hearts all #SBA fam. RIP Ajarat, may almighty God forgive your misdeeds.”

A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. Ibironke Thomas called for more awareness, continuous education, early detection and treatment to reduce the burden of depression in Nigeria.

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According to Dr. Thomas, who works at the Synapse Services Centre for Psychological Medicine, Lagos; mental disorders, including depression, are still not regarded as serious health problems in the country.

“Depression is a medical illness contributed to by an interplay of both biological factors, that is, genetic predisposition, hormones and neurotransmitters and environmental factors such as adverse life events.

“Due to lack of awareness, many people do not know that they or someone they know have depression and try to cope with it sometimes for years without the necessary help.

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“Although, knowledge of existence of mental health problems is improving with education, information dissemination through the media and NGOs, the level of this awareness is still quite low. In general, psychological illnesses are not regarded as `serious’ problems.

“There is also a lot of stigma and discrimination attached to people who have psychological disorders. People usually seek help when symptoms become severe, incapacitating or embarrassing,” she said.

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The consultant psychiatrist also urged the government and relevant stakeholders to put more attention and resources- including trained staffs into developing and equipping the Primary Health Care (PHC) system.

She stated further that most of the detection and initial management of depressive disorders need to be at the primary healthcare centres in the rural and semi-urban communities.

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