Depression, Parents and the 21st Century

In other news, parents can also be a source of depression. Do I sound like a rebel? Misfit Nah… Well your personal opinion. I’m super thankful to be back, and also thankful that mental health awareness is growing in Africa (Nigeria especially). With the most popular being Depression. To be honest, everyone is going through an issue- yours being slightly bigger or smaller. In short, there is a possibility that everyone is actually depressed. (Yeah, best believe). From personal experience, depression is more than just unexplained sadness. To me, it’s a buildup of toxic energy, which results to a meltdown that “weakens the spirit”. During a session, while combing through the past for a trigger/source, we couldn’t help but notice the roles, “parents” played. Coming from an African home, there is the pressure and the need to seek validation from family members/family. This ranges from, the pressure of success, to marriage, to reputation, class-(well, the society at large) & some other things. The demands don’t fall short; expectations heighten at every achievement and in all of this, nobody asks the most important question, “Are you happy?” “How do you feel?” Our present generation may just be plagued with the demerits, of the evolution of technology- meaning, “the requirement to live or feel alive or feel among increases dangerously every day.” Which in turn, paves way for high end channels, of anxiety, stress & depression. The other day on twitter, I came across a tweet that highlighted a topic about the “good use of social media”, and after meditating on that topic, I can say, I saw the light. Now, most times, social media influencing, influences us wrongly (social media isn’t bad but it has its effects). I’m not going to lay blames on anyone or anything, but I will most certainly talk about the downsides… Pressure Asides, the inner battle to be & become, coupled with the pressure of home/family, to achieve, represent and provide, Social media is another avenue to get hit by the pressure. Imagine scrolling through (well, me for example), and I see my age mate or someone younger than I am, doing the most, my ego shrinks. I begin to worry, counting my age and looking at my life plan, thinking how long I’m going to overcome. It’s even worse when you haven’t found a purpose. Having a positive attitude towards expectations can be very beneficial. Marriage This is a tricky one- especially coming from a 24year old who has never been married. Marriage as a whole has its self-redefining aura- which is mix of tolerance, trust, responsibilities and in some cases, culture shock. In the past, the only issues were “how fast can you settle down” (females) & “how good did you settle down” (males). Well, for the feminists in the building, the Bible said “he, who finds a wife, finds a good thing”- so permit my words. Right now, it’s a matter of “how glam can it get”, “what family” etc.- social media doesn’t help on this, as we have the likes of Bella Naija and co, steady giving us & raising the bar. (These pages are not bad- I’m not speaking against them), but what is the good use of social media? Because of the need to be perceived as class, to belong- a lot of people plan forever with wrong choices & then abruptly walk away(divorce)- suffering some high degree of mental/emotional/physical suffering & in some cases, don’t even make it out alive. Self-evaluation is important. Economy Sighs… it’s so hard in this country, like it’s really hard. To be hardworking in Nigeria, doesn’t exactly pay, in the sense of “expectation of results”. It is even quite hurtful when you have the likes of frauds & corporate hoes, doing the most and making you feel like your effort aren’t good enough. But how about, “not envying the things we don’t understand” & just focusing on being the better version of ourselves. Easier said than done, gratitude & contentment goes a long way in easing stress. Don’t get consumed by stress- worry actually only worsens the issue- anxiety. Self Esteem/Confidence Parents also have a role to play in this. I must say, raising a child isn’t a day’s job- like I have vowed to be with my kids all through their growing process- important. A lot of things accumulate into self-esteem & lack of confidence issues. For starters, your kids shouldn’t fear you but respect you. A standard African home, trains a child with fear- violence and other irrational ways of correction and admonishment. If your kids fear you, they can’t talk to you & when they can’t talk to you, you can’t be able to guide that child right. It then pushes the child into the world with no home training- which he or she either develops a low self-esteem or a superior one (bullies). In time, the bad feelings that arises from the extremities of these feelings, trigger and contribute to the stress and anxiety that life on its own try to trigger. Pay attention to your kids. Adults- practice self-love In my opinion, and through my personal observation,  the more, the awareness on mental health, the better for us and the next generation. The use of drugs are getting higher, with some countries legalizing the uses- it only takes time before everyone goes in on it. The confusion of sexuality & the stigma over it The need to excel in this modern world, the battle among peers to be the best. The need for validation- to be seen addressed & represented- finding love/friendship in wrong places, thereby absorbing negative energies and in turn getting depressed (feeling worthless). Blinded decisions- rushing into marriage and rushing out, carrying the stigma of “divorcee”, emotionally downtrodden and wondering if the next would be better. Not having adequate time & plans for the kids, subjecting them to the care, characteristics & behavior of a nanny or an aunty/uncle- rubbing off negative traits on the child, in worse cases, sexual abuse… It’s a long list of channels, through which we leave ourselves prone & open to things that can trigger and push us into the dark side. Also remember, to check up on someone too, because we all need someone. May we have the willpower to find the light and maintain it. Love & Light.

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