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Four out of 10 Nigerian women experience depression, says clinical psychologist

A Clinical Psychologist at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Yaba, Lagos, Dr Akin Gabriel, has revealed that approximately four out of ten Nigerian women experience some form of depression.

Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, Gabriel emphasized the impact of depression on mental health and well-being.

Gabriel noted that mental health is crucial for individuals to cope with life, achieve their potential, overcome stress, and navigate life challenges. He highlighted that mental health issues could lead to negative impacts, including physical illnesses.

The psychologist stressed the importance of self-observation in identifying changes in mental well-being.

According to Gabriel, signs of depression include difficulties in tasks that were once easy, increased complexity in managing situations, strange feelings, spontaneous and uncontrolled responses, irritability, and aggression.

He also mentioned changes in sleep patterns, appetite, weight, attitude toward financial constraints, and frequent illnesses as indicators of depression.

Gabriel described depression as a condition affecting a person’s thoughts and self-perception, characterized by low moods, diminished self-worth, and self-degenerating feelings.

Depressed individuals may withdraw from others, feel hopeless and unloved, and experience suicidal thoughts.

The psychologist highlighted that depression could range from mild to severe, with subtle symptoms becoming more recognizable if not addressed.

He noted that fewer men tend to report depression, often suffering in silence due to cultural beliefs that portray men as strong and resilient.

Gabriel urged individuals experiencing signs of depression to seek help early, emphasizing that depression can be effectively treated when addressed promptly.

The prevalence of depression among Nigerian women underscores the importance of mental health awareness and support initiatives.

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