Depression is real is a guest Post by Blessing Okakwu
Depression is a kind of illness that affects the way a person thinks, feels and does his daily activities. There are various causes and types of depression.
In this part of the world, a lot of people see a depressed person as someone throwing a tantrum. People suffering from depression in these part of the world are either rebuked or told to pray about it. Some may even go as far as describing the person as someone with spiritual problems.
It is so bad that a lot of people here suffer depression in silence. They keep quiet, swallow the pain and keep a straight face until they can’t handle it any more. In Nigeria, when someone tries to kill himself, instead of getting that person the help they need, they are taken from one prayer house to another. Instead of going to a hospital, they are taken to the church.
The thing a lot of people fail to understand is that depression is real, and yes it is an illness. True there is the temporal feeling of loss and depression caused by life’s struggles and losses. This is normal and everybody goes through this as long as it is temporary. However, when someone has persistent feeling of loss, hopelessness, and sadness for a period of time, that person might just need medical help.
When you see someone feeling hopeless, feeling like everything is too much and they can’t take it anymore, what that person needs more than anything is a doctor, a good psychiatrist. Yes it’s okay to pray, but please pray on your way to see a doctor.
A lot of depressed people don’t talk about how they feel because most people don’t care, and the very few that care do not understand the first thing about being depressed. They find a way to hush you, making you feel like you are being childish.
When I was in SS3 a class mate of mine went home and drank rat poison (she didn’t die thank God). When we were told the next day in school, everybody in class kept calling her names, some even said she should have locked herself in her room after taking the poison. We weren’t close, but all I could think of was why?
Whenever my friends talked about her, the only thing I had to say was why? I never understood why she tried to kill herself, but every day I hoped that her friends knew why and were trying to help her, I hoped that her parents weren’t just praying, I hoped they were getting her the help she needed.
Over time I have come to understand more about depression, partly because I have suffered from it myself. I have learnt to come to terms with the fact that a lot of people don’t care about how you really feel. I have met people with various forms of clinical depression, I have watched them deal with it, I have tried to help in any way I can, most of all, I have learnt to deal with mine.
For those reading this post who may know someone feeling lost or sad or depressed, talk to them. Show them that you care, try to get them the help they may need. Who knows, you might be saving a life.