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Depression: A Silent Epidemic 

Kevin David

Kevin David

Depression has reached epidemic proportions at this rate. Pretty much everyone we know or even ourselves are or have dealt with depression at some point. The fact remains that suicide rate is going up.

Only this week, over five people have been reported to have taken their lives. A church chorister who was seemingly full of life and bubbly caved under the weight of depression.

A young boy, who failed his UTME just about the time he had a sponsor to fund his tertiary education, also killed himself. So many frustrated people in love have also sought to end their pain by taking poisonous liquids. As it is, more often than not, there is no sign to tell that someone is going through depression, except you pay close attention to them and see a change in mannerisms.

Where possible, you could notice a change in mood, they become unmotivated about life and they talk about giving up and finding peace in death. This they could say verbally or on social media. Do not take it for granted. It could be too late by the time you make moves to contact them.

A similar trait that could lead to depression in people is the feeling of not meeting up to expectations required of them either by society, family, friends etc or self-imposed expectations of goals they feel they should have attained and this is exacerbated by social media.

Social media, despite its many advantages and force for good, is also poisonous when people lead a fake lifestyle, pretending to be so successful, making genuine hustlers cave in under pressure of trying to make it by all means and having a feeling they are not working hard enough and when they continually see these images of seeming perfection and success that their peers are attaining. They either resort to devious means to achieve their goals or give in to depressive mood, which when their souls can no longer take it, they decide to end their misery by ending their lives.

So what can be done to reverse this trend, either as a friend of someone depressed or even ourselves? Because life is never plain sailing and we all encounter life's turbulence every now and then. As an individual, you should have it at the back of your mind that what you see on social media is "make believe ", success is overly exaggerated and most times, totally fake. Clear skin is most likely filter and a jet set life is just pictures taken same period in different outfits, so, rather than be pressured by it, be amused and entertained and keep pushing.

When you feel burdened by life's woes, take a minute to count your blessings. It may sound cliché but it works. With no offense to those mentioned but have you ever paid a thought to how life for the dwarfs are? Living amongst  giants, no consideration for providing amenities for their ease, even to use the ATM machine isn't considered, using banks, crossing the roads, things as basic as that is a daily challenge for them, let alone the missed opportunities because of their predicament.

This goes for albinos, blind people, etc. So, take a moment to count your blessings. Life could have been tougher if you were in their shoes. As a friend, reach out often, despite your busy schedules to your friends, ask to meet sometimes, watch comedy to relax and most importantly, pray.