Hopefully, his message does not go farther than it already has. But, we know religion is a big deal in Nigerian society, such that religious people can lay down their lives safeguarding their dogmas. In this sense, religious people argue that their religious group is superior to the other.
Miracle Chukwuebuka Nwaogu, called Mirrikle, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, rapper and dancer. He is regarded as one of the most creative artists in the Nigerian music industry by a few media platforms, but he may need to reconsider his stance on depression.
In a couple of tweets, Mirrikle insists that depression cannot be cured through therapy, and sufferers should be going to church instead.
He may call it banter or an attempt to draw attention to his new song, but mental illnesses have been trivialised so that the actual sufferers do not even get the required medical attention. Whichever it is that Mirrikle has done, it further oversimplifies therapists’ work.
Mirrikle’s idea is that the church is the best place for treatment, which, according to religious people, is the best option for any illness. But, there is hardly any proof, except TV theatrics, that patients are cured of their illnesses in the event of a deliverance.
Let’s go deeper:
Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
When depressed, there is a deep feeling of sadness and a loss of interest or pleasure in usual daily activities. These are general feelings, but when they persist, then the diagnosis will show depression.
Major life events, such as bereavement or the loss of a job, can lead to depression. However, doctors only consider feelings of grief to be part of depression if they persist.
The symptoms of depression include:
- a depressed mood
- reduced interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- a loss of sexual desire
- changes in appetite
- unintentional weight loss or gain
- sleeping too much or too little
- agitation, restlessness, and pacing up and down
- slowed movement and speech
- fatigue or loss of energy
- feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
- recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or an attempt at suicide
What the therapist does:
When the diagnosis reads depression, Psychotherapy can help highlight events that contribute to the depression, and find ways to change, accept, or adapt to those situations. The psychotherapists can set realistic goals for the future to help the patient.
Psychotherapy also helps identify abnormal thought processes or distressed behaviours that inform the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Therapists can help the patient develop coping mechanisms to prevent future episodes of the depression.
However, there is no one perfect approach to treating depression. Therapists have their patients on their shoulders all through the time, until they are able to tailor appropriate treatments that meet the needs of their patients.
“Depression is real”, as Mirrikle says, especially as the country presents almost everyone with one traumatic experience or the other every other day. Our conversation on depression should centre on people seeking professional help whenever they feel the listed symptoms persist and not thinking that visiting a medical centre is a sign of ‘madness’.
Omoleye Omoruyi… an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram