From: Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) has traced the increase in the number of cases of depression among Nigerians to the economic recession.
Depression is defined as a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thought behaviour, feelings and sense of well-being.
Speaking at a press conference to mark the World Family Doctors’ Day, yesterday, President of the AGPMPN, Dr. Omo-Ehijele Frank, stated that the effects of the recession including jobs losses, struggling businesses and reduced opportunities make people prone to depression.
Following the release of statistics by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in August 2016, it was officially confirmed that Nigeria had slipped into recession.
Data released by NBS showed that by the second quarter of 2016, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined by 2.06 percent.
This is as annual inflation rose to 17.1 percent in July 2016, from 16.5 percent in June and food inflation 15.8 from 15.3 in the same period last year.
Omo-Ehijele further stated that individuals who resort to alcohol and drug abuse only worsen their condition, adding that the abuse of banned substances and alcoholic beverages also leads to depression.
The AGPMPN president who identified depression as the leading cause of suicide called on families to be on the alert so as to identify relations who could be battling the illness in order to assist them on how to get professional help and not to resort to unacceptable means of handling their condition.
He also called on families to maintain a health lifestyle, eat balanced diets and to consult doctors for health challenges as ways of guarding against depression.
“The unfortunate thing in the management of depression is that many people who suffer from depressive illness feel uncomfortable revealing their feelings to relevant healthcare professionals or close people.
“The good news is that depression is a treatable malady. Broadly, treatment can be categorised into psychotherapy, medication and electro convulsive therapy”, he stated.