COVID-19: Expert Suggests Measures to Handle Depression During Lockdown


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A public health professional, Dr Jennifer Braimah, on Thursday, counselled Nigerians to be selective of news they digest as measures to deal with depression during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Braimah, also the Chief Executive Officer, Intensive Rescue Foundation International (IRFI), an NGO, gave this counsel during a tweet chat on the correlation of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and COVID-19.

In the tweet chat organised by an NGO, Wave Foundation, Braimah said that engaging in worthwhile endeavours, disallowing negativity of the COVID-19 pandemic and being selective of the news digested were measures to deal with depression during the lockdown.

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“One of the hallmarks of depression is living purposelessly, once you find your purpose, depression departs. Become meaningfully engaged in a worthwhile endeavour, learn a new skill, read a book, write a book.

“Do not allow the negativity of the moment put a permanent blight on your outstanding future.

“Switch off the news, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. Be selective of what you want to see or hear,’’ the public health professional counselled.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes depression as a common mental disorder affecting over 264 million people globally, which may result in suicide.

It also states that over 800,000 people die by suicide annually and that depression will be the single biggest cause of ill health in the world by 2030.

According to Braimah, there is an urgent need for people to deal with depression by seeking help, engaging in positive activities that will distract them from the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.

“This lockdown may be the time to do everything that we had put on the back burner, take online courses on an inspiring subject including COVID-19, it will keep you motivated and purposeful,’’ she said.

The health expert further advised people to have a reputable helpline or phone number they can always reach out to talk, when the need arose, as well as stay connected to loved ones for support.

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