I’ve heard it’s mostly a black people thing to argue the fact that they are not depressed. However, it’s way worse in African nations. I come from a country whose cultural and religious beliefs have staunchly made people disapprove of ‘psychological babble’. It goes this way; when they hear about someone committing suicide, they say ‘ise aye ni o’, meaning ‘it’s the handiwork of the devil’. If you’re from Nigeria and you’re reading this post, I’m sure you’ll understand. My country, my country, a place where Diablo is blamed for every intentional and unintentional misdeeds committed by humans. It’s so bad that sometimes I go, ‘poor Lucifer’. And believe me, the situation isn’t helped when all you hear the pastor preach in church is how you must bind, cast and annihilate the devil with fire and brimstone and yeah, let’s not forget the witches (here comes the internal sighs). And believe me once again, that’s putting it lightly.
Now, let’s go back to the issue of depression. A lot of people get depressed, it’s a recurring psychological phenomenon which requires you to get help. I will like to swerve my attention to postpartum depression which is quite rampant among new mothers. Most of them, after childbirth, the low morale sets in, the inability to visualise a happy future for their babies. Some don’t even want to have anything to do with the baby they’ve been looking forward to having. It’s been discovered that most women that suffer from this depression always end up killing their babies, most of them, through ‘burking’. I recall having a conversation with my late Mum, about a woman in our area. After each birth, she acts like a deranged woman and was kept away from the new baby and her older kids. And as usual, people said ‘awon aje lo n ba finra’, meaning, ‘the witches are responsible!’ I remember explaining to my Mum why I think she’s suffering from postpartum depression. She looked at me like I was crazy and told me that something like that doesn’t exist and that only the ‘devil’ (an eye roll and a sigh) is responsible. I’m telling y’all, the case of cognitive dissonance in Africa and Africans is way over the top.
So, I think all I’m trying to say is, maybe we should reach outside the constraints of culture and religion and realise, we’ve got problems. Come on, I don’t think the devil can it take any more. Hell, what am I saying, I’m sure he’s quite depressed right now.