Home Health “Out of Ten Women, Four Will Have One Form of Depression or Another’’ – Yaba Psychologist
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“Out of Ten Women, Four Will Have One Form of Depression or Another’’ – Yaba Psychologist

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Nigerian women Depression
Upset sad African American woman suffering from loneliness side view, sitting in bed alone, holding head in hands, upset girl has psychological troubles, trauma, thinking about problem in bedroom

Dr. Akin Gabriel, a clinical psychologist based at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Yaba, Lagos, has diclosed that depression affects about four out of every ten Nigerian women, shedding light on its prevalence.

“In this country, out of 10 women, four will have one form of depression or another,’’ he disclosed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, stating that around 25% of these women eventually reach a point where professional treatment becomes paramount.

He explained that depression is just one of the many manifestations of mental illness, and that mental health encompassed the ability to manage life’s challenges, fulfill potential, handle stress, maintain relationships, and overcome obstacles.

Highlighting the importance of psychological well-being, often overlooked despite its integral role in mental health, Dr. Gabriel cautioned that neglecting mental health could lead to detrimental effects, including physical illnesses.

Urging that people should observe for subtle changes within themselves to gauge their mental well-being, he stated:

“Humans will begin to observe the changes within themselves, though they may not understand these changes.

“When an individual realises that the things he or she does with ease are getting difficult to do or that situations they were able to easily manoeuvre about are becoming complex, they should begin to ask questions.

“When an individual begins to have strange feelings; responds spontaneously to situations without a thought; easy to anger, always on edge, misdirects aggression, something is wrong,’’ he said.

He defined depression as a condition that affects a person’s thoughts and self-perception, marked by low moods, low self-worth, and self-critical thoughts. He noted that depressed individuals often perceive themselves as falling short of societal standards, leading to withdrawal and, in severe cases, thoughts of self-harm.

Gabriel also explained that the changes in person with depression could range from mild, moderate, to severe, with subtle symptoms that become more recognisable if not addressed.

In his words:

“A depressed person may not dress like he or she used to, but still passable under mild depression.

“By moderate, others are beginning to notice some differences; the person is not looking as well kept as he used to be.

“Maybe the mood has dropped; the person is not as spontaneous as he or she used to be; there may be sleep issues, attention, focus, appetite, and weight issues.

“If not taken care of, the symptoms affect the daily life of the depressed person, and everyone begins to notice because it affects relationships,’’ he said.

Addressing gender differences, Gabriel acknowledged that fewer men experience depression but tend to manifest more severe emotional disorders. He attributed this to cultural norms that expect men to remain stoic in tough times, leading to silent suffering.

Identifying warning signs in men, Gabriel highlighted behaviours such as increased alcohol or substance use, prolonged absences from home, and heightened aggression towards family members.

Concluding, he stated that depression could be treated if people with the condition sought help early.

 

 

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