It’s a fact that so many Nigerians in good clothes could be diagnosed of very serious mental illnesses. Whereas, we seem to think its only the man on the streets, walking half-naked and eating from the garbage bins that is a mentally ill fellow.
Recall that the Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, last year said that over 60 million Nigerians have various degrees of mental disorder.
He said that about 80 per cent of people move about with metal disorder without knowing or seeking for help, while 20-25 per cent live with a full-blown mental disorder in the country.
He said cases of mental challenges range from simple minor mood disorder to extreme cases of mental accreditation, adding that one out of every five Nigerians have an extreme mental disorder.
Herald.ng in an investigation discovered that there are seven mental illness one out of every three Nigerians might be suffering from – courtesy recession, genetic and/or environmental factors amongst others.
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a condition in which a woman has severe depression symptoms, irritability, and tension before menstruation. The symptoms of PMDD are more severe than those seen with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
PMS refers to a wide range of physical or emotional symptoms that most often occur about 5 to 11 days before a woman starts her monthly menstrual cycle. In most cases, the symptoms stop when, or shortly after, her period begins.
- Postpartum depression. This is a serious, but treatable medical illness involving feelings of extreme sadness, indifference and/or anxiety, as well as changes in energy, sleep, and appetite.
Postpartum depression refers to depression occurring during pregnancy or after childbirth. Sadly more than half of Nigerian mothers suffer this after child-birth. Investigation suggests that poor health condition arbitrary behaviour and unavailability (strike) of health workers, lack of the required equipments all contributed to this ravaging scourge.
- Major Depression: On specifics, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its 2017 World Health Day message says 7,079,815 Nigerians suffer from one of the most ignored and misunderstood form of mental disorder in the country – depression. This represents 3.9 per cent of the entire population; making Nigeria, according to the current prevalence rate, the most depressed country in Africa. Globally, Seychelles has the lowest number of depressed persons with just 3,722.
Anxiety disorder: Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by significant feelings of anxiety and fear. Anxiety is a worry about future events and fear is a reaction to current events. These feelings may cause physical symptoms, such as a fast heart rate and shakiness.
There are a number of anxiety disorders: including generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder,
agoraphobia, panic disorder, and selective mutism. The disorder differs by what results in the symptoms.People often have more than one anxiety disorder.
The world health organisation says 4,894,557 Nigerians, that is 2.7 per cent of the population, suffer anxiety disorders. The country is closely followed by Ethiopia with 4,480,113 sufferers, Democratic Republic of Congo with 2,871,309 sufferers, South Africa with 2,402,230 sufferers, and Tanzania with 2,138,939 sufferers.
- Substance use disorder: Many Nigerians suffer from this mental condition. If you have used a paracetamol for headache, fever, body pain or even tried to use it to cure cholera then you are suffering from substance use disorder.
Substance use disorder (SUD), also known as drug use disorder , is a condition in which the use of one or more substances leads to a clinically significant impairment or distress.  Although the term substance can refer to any physical matter, ‘substance’ in this context is limited to psychoactive drugs . Addiction and dependence are components of a substance use disorder and addiction represents the most severe form of the disorder.
- Anxiety and stress: Many Nigerians do not know that this is a health condition that is a big threat to their life.
The number of people suffering stress, anxiety because of redundancies, job insecurity and pay cuts owing to the recession is soaring,
Worries about the effects of the downturn have produced a sharp rise in people experiencing symptoms of common mental health conditions, the incidence of anxiety has jumped by between four and five-fold as unemployment, cuts in hours and work force have become common.
According to investigation by herald.ng Among people who have lost their jobs in the last year, 71% have suffered symptoms of depression, 55% said the same about stress and 52% experienced symptoms of anxiety.
Anxiety, stress, and depression Left untreated, could turn into “a vicious cycle of related disability and an inability to work”.
- Personality Disorders: Personality disorders are defined by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as “an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the culture of the individual who exhibits it.”
The beginning of these patterns of behavior can typically be traced back to late adolescence and the beginning of adulthood, and, in rare instances, childhood. This deviation from personality is severe enough to affect the interaction of the patient with his/herself and the community.
The unfortunate part is that this numbers of theses sicknesses are on the increase.
According to Good Health Weekly patient attendance at the psychiatric health institution totaled 53, 287 compared to 25,267 for the same period in 2015.
More women than men appeared to be seeking help for psychiatric illnesses because during the period in question, the number of female patients increased 135 per cent from 13,730 to 32,261, compared to an increase of 82 per cent from 11,537 to 21,026, for male patients.
The number of new patients in the hospital increased from 2,531 to 4,031. Of the new patients, 2,001 were male representing 53 per cent increase over the 1,306 recorded last year, while 2,030 were female, a 66 per cent increase over the previous year.
In absolute figures, there was an overall 46 per cent increase in number of admissions in 2016 (867) compared to 594 in 2015, while the community clinic attendance went up from 1,793 to 3,510, a 95 per cent increase.
Even children were not spared as there was a 144 per cent increase in the number of child/adolescent clinic attendance from 1,375 to 3,355. This comprised a 141 percent increase of girls from 2,311 to 5,581, and 138 per cent increase for boys, from 936 to 2,226.
Also, the number of follow-up patients increased 74 percent from 19,889 (9,076 male and 10,813 female) to 34,536 (11,608 male and 22,928 female).