‘Many Nigerians suffering from depression unaware’ 


Jesusegun Alagbe

A life coach and entrepreneur, Mr Abiola Salami, has stated that many people suffering from depression are unaware of the symptoms, encouraging such people that they can overcome the disease.

Salami said this in his book, ‘The Magic of Emotional Intelligence: How Champions Apply Emotional Intelligence to Achieve Peak Performance and Advancement in Life.’

The book’s foreword was written by Prof Dana Born of Harvard University, the United States.

Salami said in the book, “Depression is like sadness and grief on steroids. In times past, many developing countries downplayed depression, but in recent times, especially since the advent of social media, the number of people who have left their suicide notes has proven that it is not something to be taken lightly.

“Depression is not just a mere feeling. It is a serious illness and requires as much attention as cancer or any other terminal illness (because it often leads to the death of those who experience it). There is a growing number of deaths due to depression and we hear of a case of suicide almost every week.

“I believe that most of these deaths could be avoided if only we paid more attention to our loved ones. In actual fact, depressed people usually appear happy on the outside, so it makes observing them difficult. Of utmost concern is the fact that a lot of people who have depression do not recognise that they do. Worse still, they feel they have no right to be depressed because they know other people who had been through the exact same situation that caused them to be depressed and handled it better. So they decide to hide the condition or take their own lives.”

According to Salami, who said he had also passed through depression, some of the symptoms to look out for include continuous low mood or sadness, feeling of hopelessness and helplessness, low self-esteem, feeling guilt-ridden, irritable and intolerant of others, and having no motivation or interest in things.

He said other symptoms are: finding it difficult to make decisions, not getting any enjoyment out of life, feeling anxious or worried, and having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming oneself.

Salami encouraged anyone passing through depression to acknowledge their state, avoid being hard on themselves, avoid solitude, and seek professional help.

“I want to say at this point that you can survive depression. A lot of successful people around the world have done so and used their experience to serve humanity,” he said.

“Though it’s possible to survive depression, one of the things you must be careful about is not to come out of it with a negative mindset. On a personal note, I have experienced depression and I know that it was a real fight to overcome,” he added.

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