DEPRESSION and SUICIDE: “My problem pass your own” – we must do better than this


There is a lot of talk about depression and suicide in Nigeria these days; particularly given the tragic event of Sunday evening. Dear ones, Life throws lemons at everyone, but see, no one person’s challenge or tough experience outwits another person’s in severity. Rather, it is the endurance threshold that differs. The knack here in Nigeria is to always talk down, undermine or underestimate someone’s personal issues in order to talk up one’s own as worse. This is one of the major reasons why people tow the path of lethal silence.

Example 1

Him, opening up to Oga friend – “My wife constantly nags like a pregnant cat at my inability to sole-provide as the head of house! Despite all my pleas for patience, still she chooses to nag on and even recently reported me to her parents on this issue. The shame and disappointment is killing me inside; boring a hole of failure through my heart”

Oga friend’s response – “Shuo, is that why you dey dull like refrigerated but sour Banga soup? You better thank God. Do you know how many times my own 4 wives complain about my inability to equally satisfy them in bed every week? Yeekpa! They want to kill me for my mother! See, better thank God my friend and man up! My own pass your own”

Yes, “My-Own-Pass-Your-Own”. That is the banal phrase making our already bad situation even worse in Nigeria when it comes to psychosocial and mental-related issues. I mean, we don’t have an existing or noticeable structure for professional psychotherapy in Nigeria, but instead of using our shoulders for each other with the right words and intelligent emotion, we rather ‘my-own-pass-your-own’ ourselves, in almost ninety percent of instances. So this surge of suicidal silence isn’t really far-fetched.

Rather than speak out to someone (even if it is in hopeless search of succour), people now prefer to mask their issues behind grinning emojis and feigned smiles. Physically and morally violated wives now prefer to mask tears and scars behind heavy mascara. That cold teenager and confused youth? The now both prefer to make best friends with their earphones; a James Blunt dirge stuck on replay. The fear of being reduced to triviality or being berated is insensitively added to their real fears. So they shut up and get more predisposed to shutting down. Yes, “my-own-pass-your-own”? It’s a subtle cancer.

But inasmuch as it is a cancer, we can still excise it as a people. This scarcity of shoulders to lean on when life’s demon-lemons happen isn’t the end of it all. As I said above, life happens to everyone; including my yellow self!

So what can be done by yourself to yourself in that moment when you are so down and so out? That moment when you pick up the lemons and try to make lemonade to no avail? It’s NOT simple, but my guy, my babe, maami, baami, I am not a psychologist, but trust me: Finding your oasis? It works!

Oasis – finding that thing, that spot, that habit, that particular activity that works for YOU. That thing that gives YOU indescribable solace amidst the desert dune of depressing thoughts. Finding this personal oasis is a major key. It could be anything, heck, it could even be a vice, but finding it is important to dousing suicidal thoughts borne outta the admixture of depression and enforced silence.

Personally, my oasis is a DELIBERATE consciousness of inner peace birthed from blind and border-less trust in the omnipotence of Jehovah. When the shit happens or when it hits the fan, I consciously run to that place of peace like a drenched cock, not to pray or skabash, but just to stay; to unashamedly stay. A guileless, guiltless groove with God – I will talk about this particular thing later on another post. But this is what I have found as my oasis, and my playlist of worded songs assist in leading thereto. There’s wisdom in finding yours dearest ones; and as I said, it could be anything, anything at all, bar suicidal or criminal.

So, aburo, egbon, booda, aunti, sister, brother, daadi, moomi, pending the time we shaft our shoulders to learn to lean; pending when we unlearn the insensitive and emotionally unintelligent “my-own-pass-your-own” phrase; please – because NOBODY can actually know how you feel in totality – kindly employ needful reflection to find your oasis and HOLD ON.

I hope this could help someone out there.

You are loved.


NB: If you, or anyone else, are going through anything – anything at all that overwhelms your threshold to hold it in, so much it suggests suicide, Please get in touch with Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative:
Telephone Number: +234 806 010 1157

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