World Mental Health Day: When Depression Visits – Photo Essay By Femi Amogunla
Depression does not knock on the door when it visits. It barges in. It swallows everything in its path: all your plans, deadlines and projects. It makes you stop. Time does not matter, as the second hand rolls, into minutes and days. Its dark halo starts like a cloud before the rains; it grows darker and darker but the rain never falls.
Depression hugs you tight; like a blanket, it swallows you up; makes you disappear and makes you become someone you do not recognise. You recoil into a shell. When you come out, it is a shy peep. You are alive again. You have another chance at life.
Some never get that chance. Sometimes, the blanket becomes a nuzzle around the neck. It chokes.
Depression—an intense feeling of sadness or low mood for weeks, months or even years—is a global phenomenon that is not often talked about, yet an estimated number of 350million people currently suffer from it. 48 million Nigerians currently go through it.
Every October 10, the world celebrates World Mental Health Day. This year, the theme is: Mental Health at the Work Place. Conversations around mental health will take centre stage around the world.
We should talk about mental health and deal with it, the way we deal with other sicknesses. We should talk about how it does not fix an appointment; how it stumbles into the workplace, past your secretary and holds an endless conversation with you. We should talk about how we do not look at it in the face; how we think that tying down the person will end it; how we wish it away…
When next depression visits, take it by the hand to a medical practitioner. Have a conversation. Get help. Get care. Get well. Only then can you be productive.
(Happy) World Mental Health Day.