Psychiatrist decries increasing incidences of depression, attempted suicide

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By Lilian Okoro
Lagos, Aug. 18, 2020 A Psychiatrist, Dr Samuel Aladejare, has decried the increasing incidences of depression, attempted suicide, deliberate self-harm and other forms of mental illnesses among Nigerians.

Aladejare, the Executive Secretary, Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, spoke on Tuesday in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.

“There is no doubt that there is hunger and economic hardship as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. Lots of people are struggling to earn sustainable living wage.

“Even, in our wards now, we see lots of people coming down with depressive illnesses – attempted suicide and deliberate self-harm.

“By the time we look at the primary causes of these illnesses, it is usually traced to financial or economic challenges.

“Some people are psychologically affected, some others are socially affected and others emotionally affected.

“But, some have the ability to overcome, while others do not have such abilities, which leads to psychiatric illness,” he explained.

The expert, however, advised Nigerians to manage their earnings properly to guard against psychiatric illnesses due to depression and economic hardships.

He told them to learn to plan with whatever they earned and avoid setting unrealistic goals, as it could lead to illicit acts and unhealthy medical conditions.

Aladejare said there was need for Nigerians to set their goals and targets according to their capabilities and financial resources, rather than setting goals that their finances could not carry.

He noted that setting goals above one’s capabilities could lead to emotional or mental illness in the course of achieving the target and could make one to be involved in illegal activities in life.

According to him, many Nigerians are fond of placing their hands where they cannot reach; which is responsible for the incessant increase in criminal acts and social vices in the country today.

“As individuals, we have to try and manage our finances; make do with what we have.

“That means that I have to roll with the economic situation at any time so as not to allow my emotional and mental state to be affected by it.

“We don’t want more people to break down with psychiatric illnesses, because of financial or economic challenges,” he said.

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