On 19th of June, 2019, Desmond Amofah, famously known as Etika, committed suicide. Etika was a popular American YouTuber, streamer and model. As expected, his suicide set the internet on fire especially because he appeared to be leading a beautiful life by every reasonable standard. However, what not so many knew was that he had been battling with mental illness (depression) for years before his suicide.
Just like Etika, a whopping 800,000 other people commit suicide annually based on mental health issues. This means one person commits suicide every 40 seconds. According to a report by the World Health Organization in 2001, about 450,000,000 of the world population suffer from one mental disorder or the other. It went further to posit that one in 4 persons grapples with the signs at some point in their life.
In case these figures do not call close to home, know that in 2018, the Permanent Secretary of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health disclosed that “an estimated 20-30% of the population is believed to suffer from mental disorders. This is a very significant number, considering that Nigeria has an estimated population of 200 million.” This is to say that 3 in 10 Nigerians suffer from mental disorders, and the global burden is still on the increase!
What does this mean to you?
It simply implies that the earlier you pay adequate attention to your mental health, the better. There are almost 300 mental disorders according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the most common ones include depression, schizophrenia, prolonged anxiety, eating disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse/addiction and personality disorder.
These mental illnesses do not have a particular cause, rather they can affect a person due to a range of reasons like genetic makeup, traumatic experiences, stress, brain injury, and so on.
Throughout the globe, people’s health is usually evaluated by others based on their physical appearance which is expected because we live in a world of appearances. But a whole lot is going on behind the scenes.
When talking about a person’s wellbeing, often, their mental health is inadvertently overlooked which makes the campaign on mental health awareness a tad in the background.
Mental Disorders: Flattening the Curve
Truth is, there is no one definite way to cure mental disorder especially with the fact that most people do not know when their mood/anxiety/tendencies have graduated to full-blown mental illness. But like the saying goes ‘prevention is better than cure’, hence, it helps to nip the telltale signs in the bud than actually treating it. One may wonder what the correlation between mental health and prevention is. I mean, we all know that there is no vaccine that immunes anyone against mental illness, however, the prevention interestingly lies in your daily choices and lifestyle.
The following can have tremendous positive influence on your mental wellbeing thereby preventing mental disorders:
- Always talk to someone: The problem with most people who experience depression, for instance, is their tendency to ‘suffer’ in silence which fuels their despondency. The stigma surrounding mental disorder in this part of the globe may have contributed to victims choosing silence over talking it through. But keeping quiet does not help ultimately. Whenever you start losing your peace or sleep over a matter, it helps to unburden the load of concern on someone. The person may not always be of help, but you will be amazed at the difference a listening ear can make. Talk it through and vent it out.
- Spread love as much as you can: No matter the amount of stress you are dealing with, making out extra time to get involved in activities that show kindness and love to others helps you mentally and otherwise. Apart from your daily job, it helps to spend your time doing something for others – giving back in one way or the other. You can do this by volunteering in a charity organization or ventures dedicated to humanitarian services. Activities like these are proven to make one feel better and pumped mentally.
- Be intentional about your happiness and your self-esteem: The world is busy and so are a lot of people, which makes it quite easy for anyone to be burned out easily from stress. Over time, especially if care is not taken, life experiences may metamorphose into one mental health issue or another. It is therefore imperative to take deliberate steps in controlling how much stress one endures and increase activities that enhances one’s esteem.
- Mind the food you eat: Research has shown that diet and nutrition affect one’s mental health positively or negatively. Foods that are high in sugar, for instance, sugar-sweetened beverages, or greatly processed foods like frozen pizza or bacon, have negative effects on mental health as they increase one’s risk of developing anxiety and depression. So, proper dieting does not only help with physical health but contributes immensely to mental wellbeing as well.
- Give children the attention they require: If you are a parent or guardian to a young child, ensure the child has a happy childhood by paying attention to the child’s disposition as well as encouraging activities that build his/her self-esteem. It equally helps to be observant and look out to avoid any form of child abuse or molestation as this is proven to be one of the leading causes of mental disorders in adults. In a nutshell, it is best to guard what we let into our minds with all diligence.
Pay attention to what your mind is saying today.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any mental health issue, talk to a Professional Online today at KompleteCare. Your privacy and confidentiality are guaranteed!
About the Author:
Ginika Oluchi Okeke is the content writer Lead at KompleteCare. She also doubles as an editor and proofreader for everything that concerns content. When she’s not writing content for KompleteCare, you might find her copy-editing works for authors before publication. Reach Ginika at firstname.lastname@example.org
Medical Disclaimer: KompleteCare™ aims to improve the quality of life for everyone with fact-based content about the nature of diseases, preventive care, behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.