Globally, 322 million people are suffering from depression. A common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, and poor concentration.

It also leads to impairment of an individual’s ability to function and carry out everyday tasks and responsibilities, and could lead to suicide.

What is depression?

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. You might ask yourself why is it a disorder? Being in a state where your mind isn’t at rest or not being composed says it all in other words, it’s a mood disorder where you continually feel sad and loss interest in all you do.

Many Nigerians go through depression and sadly,  we don’t give it that much attention and solution.


Depression in Nigeria is more common than we think.

Chronic depression affects about 20 percent of Nigerian heads of households, according to the most recent results of the Nigerian General Household Survey (GHS) Panel, which measures indicators from agriculture, welfare, and other areas of life in Nigeria once every two to three years.

Below are some likely causes of depression:

Trauma and Grief

Trauma such as violence or physical or emotional abuse, whether it’s early in life or more recent, can trigger depression in people who are biologically vulnerable to it. Grief after the death of a friend or loved one is a normal emotion, but like all forms of loss, it can sometimes lead to clinical depression. If you feel this way after any loss, please talk to a mental health doctor.

Longer Screen Time and Smoking

Screen time and tobacco smoking were also significantly associated with a higher frequency of depressed mood. According to health shot, over time, the lifestyle factors which were protective of depressed mood in both individuals with clinical depression and those without a depressive disorder was optimal sleep (7-9 hours) and lower screen time, while a better-quality diet was indicated to be protective of depressed mood in those without depression.

Medications and Substances

Many prescription drugs can cause symptoms of depression, according to WebMD. Alcohol or substance abuse is common in depressed people. It often makes their condition worse by causing or worsening mood symptoms or interfering with the effects of medications prescribed to treat depression.


According to some researches, it has been discovered that women are about twice as likely as men to become depressed. No one’s sure why. However, it is possible that hormonal changes that women go through at different times of their lives may play a role.

Your mental health should never be taken for granted, if a situation or person causes it, take a break or leave such an individual or setting. Always talk to a doctor whenever you discover you are getting into depression or speak to someone you know you can trust.

Societal / environmental factors

The economic situation in the country is really biting hard, causing anxiety, stress and even depression among many citizens. It is one of the main causes of depression, millions of Nigerians have lost hope in the country due to insecurity, hunger, kidnapping, cultism, ritualism, robbery, senseless killings all over the country, unemployment, starvation etc.

A hungry man is an angry man they say. Starts from hunger > anger > frustrated > hopeless > thinking > suicidal thoughts > depression.

Ways to battle depression

My Rule no 1 for The Average Nigerian Youth

If you don’t have money in your bank account that makes you smile when you look at it, RUN AWAY FROM INSTAGRAM!

The glamorous lifestyles exhibited there are enough to send you to chronic depression straight up.

What to do when depressed. From Experience—-

Take a walk (This is the most ideal remedy)

Leave your house at 7pm, walk till your legs feel like they can’t carry your weight. The night atmosphere and scenery is enough to drown your problems temporary.

If you have money but still depressed, Take the weekend off

(Friday evening to Sunday evening). Spoil yourself.

When I say Spoil yourself, I mean go get that thing you love. If it’s food you love, go have it. Don’t look at the cost. Just spend that money on you alone. Don’t necessarily take anyone with you! You’ll gain instant gratification which helps in the long run.
However, if you need some company and gist partner then you can go along with few close friends.

Hit the gym

Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.

So, get a gym membership. Endorphins are released when you exercise and they make you feel great. No need to emphasize on this.

Eat healthy

Junk foods fuel your depression and put your health at risk honestly. Eat healthy. Some top mood boosting foods that can help improve your mood and overall wellbeing are; banana, carrot, turkey, milk… they contain  compounds that your brain cells need to work well and can promotes a calm, relaxed mood. Fruits and veggies should also be in your daily diet. Drink more water.

Get yourself a video game

PS4, Xbox, switch, it doesn’t matter. Just take a few hours daily and play. It’ll divert your attention to other things

Try to do something that you don’t love twice a week

Learn something new. Say you’re a guy and don’t have any interest in music, go and take guitar lessons twice a week. You don’t want it but you have to do it. Say you’re a girl and you don’t have any interest in baking, go and take baking lessons twice a week. Don’t settle for online tutorial as you need to go out and meet new faces while you learn a new skill.

This remedy is very helpful to people who work from home 24/7 having no reason to get out and socialize. Most times, staying indoors and alone even while being busy may not always take away the depression.

Watch comedy movies

I don’t think i need to stress this much. Comedy movies will make you laugh and laughter is a good therapy to relive stress anytime; any day.

Keep it off social media 

Mental health matters is also not well understood in  our dear country. Very few people are literate to the idea of mental health.  Others would be quick to criticize a victim for even speaking out. Some would take you for a joker. So instead of running to social media for help- go find and talk to a professional.

“Let Google be your friend in searching for mental health professionals”

These steps helped me a lot and I don’t have depression anymore. I hope they can help you too.

Depression is a spirit that makes u forget your successes to focus ONLY on your failures. just remember one good thing that happened to you. if you can, life becomes liveable,not necessarily easier.

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