Have you ever heard a Nigerian man say “depression is not real, it’s just laziness”? Let’s talk about how far from the truth this notion is. Depression is real, and it affects not just women, but men too. Yes, you read that right. Nigerian men get depressed too. In fact, according to recent research, African men are less likely to seek help or speak about their mental health due to toxic masculinity.
Depression in men is often misdiagnosed, and it is essential to understand its symptoms. Let’s highlight some signs to watch out for in Nigerian men.
Lack of interest in activities:
A man who is suddenly uninterested in things he previously enjoyed is a red flag. Perhaps, he no longer hangs out with his friends, watches his favorite football team, or even goes out to eat. If you notice this sudden change, consider speaking to him about his mental health.
Fatigue and irritability:
Depression can sap energy and lead to consistent feelings of fatigue. Alongside the fatigue, there’s irritability that usually accompanies depression. A man who is always agitated, uncharacteristically short-fused, and easily angered may be dealing with depression.
Insomnia or oversleeping:
Depression affects sleep differently in men. While some can hardly sleep, others find it challenging to get out of bed. Chronic insomnia or oversleeping is a sign that needs attention.
Men dealing with depression have a high tendency to abuse substances like drugs or alcohol. It is a coping mechanism, albeit not a healthy one.
Depression doesn’t just affect mental health; it also affects physical health. A man who is always complaining about headaches, back pain, or stomach aches may be dealing with depression.
Finally, depression can lead to feelings of despair, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts. If you notice this in yourself or someone you know, it is essential to seek help immediately.
In conclusion, depression is a real thing, and it affects both men and women. Nigerian men often overlook their mental health due to societal pressures, but it’s high time we paid attention. These signs of depression are not conclusive, but they are a starting point for a conversation about mental health. It’s time for Nigerian men to know that it’s okay not to be okay and to seek professional help when they need it. Let’s break the stigma around mental health and support each other to live healthier and happier lives.
If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms or concerned that you are not in great mental health, get in touch with a doctor without delay.