It has been observed that Nigerian women especially in Lagos suffer depression more than their men counterpart.
Making this revelation during a Depression Awareness seminar organized by Nnamdi Azikiwe University alumni Lagos branch, Dr. Raphael Emeka Ogbolu, a consultant psychiatrist with Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), disclosed that depression patients he attended to at LUTH were mostly women.
According to the health expert who is the coordinator Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative, in spite of this situation, it is men that mostly commit suicide, taking Nigeria as a case study." He remarked that Christians outnumbered people of other religions in the country that suffered depression.
Dr. Ogbolu further disclosed that depression would make a victim sad, and if the cause or situation was allowed to go on for about two weeks, it could make one suffer depression, lose interest in things one liked.
" Depression causes reduction of energy in a person, changes in sleep, decrease in appetite, libido, one can't concentrate, performance reduction, feelings of guilt, hopeless."
On the causes, the expert psychiatrist explained that one could inherit it, odd turn of things could cause it"
Other causes, he explained, included heart failure, sickle cell, joblessness, addiction to drugs, epilepsy, etc." He remarked that depression is now worse than stroke and has been regarded as the world number one killer disease. It does not discriminate, even children, the rich, etc could suffer it.
In his own view, Pastor Tony Kalu of Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Surulere, Lagos, a counselor, defined depression as unbalanced mental situations of one which could be caused by negative events in life like loss of job, death of one very dear to us, lack of money to meet up demands of life, lack of love, etc.
On the solution, Pastor Kalu advised that people should maintain who they were, live according to the word of God and not on what people say or situation of things in the society. He therefore counselled for change of lifestyle.
"Plan your life. We all were not born same day, same background. So maintain your own no matter the pressure. Don't live above your means. Life is not a tournament. What works for you may not work for me.
" Manage your personality. False lifestyle kills. Speak out. Seek counsel, go for medical checkup always. Do exercise. Take a walk and have a change of environment. Build a Godly relationship. Godly lifestyle is always the best. Surrender your life to Christ."
To Mr. Stanley Onwuzuluike, a counselor with wide exposure and experience, "Many people don't believe that depression is real, and kills." He explained that their job in the field was to reduce the sickness to minimum. He lamented scarcity of experts in the field in Nigeria.
As a way out, he asked that the patient be listened to in order to encourage him or her, instead of keeping away. We should spend time with the victims in order to make them feel loved and valued in life.
Pastor Obiora Anachuna who came from Ghana, advised the audience to focus on God, explaining that devil was the cause of depression in man in order to destroy perfect work of God.
The panacea, according to him, was to lock up or close the door to our minds to the devil.
"Man believes in a better tomorrow and any denial of this or limit to what was expected, would bring depression. So feed your mind always with the word of God. Be up to date with positive things happening around you. Grow your mind. Be better today than what you were yesterday. It is what you feed your mind with that it uses to drive you. It is all about a mind game. And you have the power to choose either right or wrong one."
Earlier, the president Chief Victor Obineme, had narrated how the program started like a joke and that when the alumni discovered that the sickness was taking a heavy toll on Nigerians, they then decided to take up the challenge.
Chief Obineme who was also a former Students' Union Government president of the University assured the audience that the 'Giant Alumni of Great Unizik' would go extra mile in reducing the negative impacts of the problem on the populace.
There was a question and answer section anchored by Chimezie Udechukwu. It gave the guests ample opportunities to express what they had been going through as victims of depression.