A Depressed Nation We Are; Is it any better Across the Borders?
The oxford dictionary defines depression as a feeling of severe despondency and dejection. In Psychiatry, it is mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of appetite and sleep. Despondency is the aspect of losing hope and confidence which really describes the Kenyan situation why the majority of citizens are depressed particularly in regards to government.
The feeling of inadequacy applies well in the matrimonial sphere especially to a number of men in the hands of empowered women, something that was well dissected in the local dailies last week on Monday – the first of April. From a far off, you could think it was a decoy because April first is fool’s day. Well, if we can think of it as a fool’s day mockery, then foolishness will soon take over the world. Simply to say that the issue of depression is very real and it effects are very severe irrespective of who one is.
How do we explain the reason why young children in lower or even upper primary are committing suicide? How do we explain the celebs getting admitted into rehabilitation centers? How do we justify the rising cases of hiring hit men to kill loved ones? What do we say of professors and doctors killing themselves to unexplainable rising cases of arsonry? Do we close our eyes and let that fall into the hands of chance?
I recently received a simple mail from YALI Network regarding a campaign they had started titled #Africa4Her. In the email were a few figures which raised eyebrows. Statistics indicate that one in three women worldwide have experienced violence from an intimate partner. Every two seconds a girl under the age of eighteen gets married. Every minute six girls are at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation. Just an icing on the cake over such striking information. We can absolutely agree that we ought to do something in such case as these involving our sisters and lovely daughters.
The elephant in the room is the huge amount of depressed cases internally that don’t speak out. Violence and abuse that has ability to cause depression are usually visible and often reported because there is room for reporting such for contravening the rights of an individual. But it becomes very hard for the young man depressed due to lack of means for earning a living to report such a thing. There is no provisions for reporting joblessness or even rejections young people receive from their partners. Envisioning and discovering such is very hard.
We live in a society where for instance as men we are taught that it is our role to be ‘fighters’ and providers for our families. Now imagine where a man gets laid off suddenly and can’t be able to provide for the family any longer. Such a man suffers a lot because voicing it out will be taken to mean he is not man enough. Feelings of insufficiency creep in and they begin to loosen their hope; the very things that trigger depression.
It could be serious that even the very big personalities we admire suffer serious stress and depression. Some fail to come to terms over sacking from the very powerful government positions in which they hold. You can imagine having armed policemen guarding you and your home all the time. Think of the privileges one gets when they drive big cars with government flags and chase cars that go about clearing traffic for them and then they wake up one morning and all that is gone. They have to battle the traffic like any other Dick, Tom and Harry. Some live in serious denial to a level they are sent to their earlier graves. Such is the power of this thing called depression.
In talk I attended at the US Embassy in Gigiri, Nairobi on countering radicalization and violent extremism two weeks ago, I learnt that the recruiters of the young people who get used in crime are so smart that they are able to know vulnerable individuals who can easily fall for prey to their lies.
Such individuals scout for the young jobless youths who are stressed with live and give them illicit money as a luring a bait for recruitment. Even young couples are recruited especially if the recruiters will know that they are stressed or have developed depressed due to their partners. These kind of people are the ones who go home but sleep in cars at the parking area. They can’t speak out because it is deemed a weakness for a man and hence many suffer in silence.
Depression is a very dangerous state for any human being. It is at this level where many do very unthinkable things. To some they find solace in drugs, hence prosperity and rise of the drug abuse business across the globe as well as the rising case of young people allowing to be recruited into terrorist groups.
Terrorism and depression can happen in two ways. If the depression is motivated by lack of a living for the individual, the allure of quick money becomes the key motivator to them joining terrorist groups. There are those people perhaps not depressed by the money resources but by religious intolerance or marriage issues, they join these groups as a scapegoat out of their misery. In other words, some of them accept to ‘commit murder’ using crime because their conscious is hard to allow them commit the real murder by themselves as opposed to dying in the hands of the bullet.
A depressed mind is never a sober mind and such a mind can suffer a lot damage to a level of losing sanity. Loss of sobriety in person is loss of judgment hence the rising cases of rape as well as parents turning on their children for sexual assaults or even murder. Let us encourage people to seek guidance and counsel no matter the case, when people speak out they get help.
Let us provide opportunities equally and fight corruption, economic crimes, con-men (who have advanced even to churches) by all means so that every individual gets to enjoy in the sovereignty and freedom of their state instead of being psychological and spiritual prisoners. In fact it is not better beyond the borders and we better face our realities. This is the only surest way of managing depression; facing it and finding help.
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