As Nigerians we pride ourselves on being one of the happiest people on earth. No matter what the situation is we always find a reason to be happy. We’ve all been accustomed to hearing the phrase “Suffering and Smiling.” For those that don’t know, this means that a Nigerian can be suffering and still find reasons not to complain and keep it moving. Nigerians are seriously funny. I don’t think any other group makes me laugh consistently the way Nigerians do. It is probably because we relate to each other in comedic ways. Generally speaking, we can find light in any situation. With all of this happiness that we’re sharing, (see the way Nigerians can make a joke of a serious situation), as a group we sometimes forget to sympathize with those in our communities that are going through depression. I’ve heard many times that Nigerians don’t get depressed because that’s not something that happens in our culture. Yes, Nigerians get depressed. Contrary to what your parents or whoever might have you believe, we are not immune to it. In fact, some of those people who say Nigerians don’t get depressed might be depressed themselves.
- It’s time to start acknowledging that Nigerians get depressed so that people will feel comfortable talking about it
- Depression is not the same as being temporarily sad about something. I am not a doctor but I believe that it is usually a clinical issue. Medications can be taken to alleviate it but I don’t think they necessarily “cure” depression. As I said I am not a doctor so if you want to find out exactly what depression is then start with Google or Wikipedia
- My main point of this post is that we need to start having a more serious conversation about depression and not be so dismissive of it in our society.
I don’t suffer from depression but this is an important topic to me because I know some Nigerians who suffer from it and feel misunderstood. If you are depressed or know anyone who is, know that many people go through this. Do not feel alone. If you are one of the people that do not “believe” in depression maybe take some time to consider the reality of it.
Let’s Talk About it is a series that focus on different issues in the Nigerian community that we don’t talk enough about. If you have any issue you want to talk about then message me.