This is noteworthy, especially for all who have been diagnosed with Clinical Depression…and please for those who may not know, and who may hurt others inadvertently out of undetected ignorance, prolonged Depression is a serious medical condition and not just “the mood swings which everybody goes through”.

It is true everyone has challenges which affect their moods from time to time, but while some are able to cope through regular psycho-social and/or spiritual support, for others Depression may be symptomatic of an underlying chemical imbalance in the brain, caused by different medical or hereditary factors including.

Our African culture is sometimes exceptionally cruel when it comes to dealing with people living with Depression, and the stigma surrounding it makes it hard for sufferers to access help. It’s time to admit ignorance and learn about this life-wrecking and life-threatening disease in order to change our attitudes toward people with mental health issues. There is a huge difference between “madness” and depression.

Indeed, DEPRESSION IS A MONSTER and can ruin lives in a non-supportive environment. If you are a victim of any form of major/clinical depression. please don’t suffer in silence. There is support, so reach out and seek help. Talk to your Doctor. but please note that you need to talk to a Psychiatrist if your Doctor is unable to offer the needed SUPPORT. Unfortunately some General Practitioners may be clueless and tend to inflict more hurt.

REMEMBER, GOD LOVES YOU NO MATTER WHAT! With sustained clinical care you can overcome Depression, in whatever form it takes, Recovery can be very painfully slow, marked by a deep sense of hopelessness and despair. Just hang in there and live one day at a time as many do.

Don’t be surprised when you find yourself doing certain things without difficulty and being completely knocked out when it comes to other things that you used to do well. Don’t be surprised when people judge you and question your sanity from time to time. Embarrassment is something you should ignore and celebrate the little you can do at the moment. YOUR BREAKTHROUGH WITH SURELY COME WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT, SO NO MATTER WHAT, NEVER GIVE UP…SEEK HELP NOW!

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The face of Depression

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Welcome to my blog

I am Betty Akumatey, an Ethnograper and Sociologist by training. I have created this blog as a first step in my aspiration to encourage and promote discussion among people who are struggling with Major Depression, primarily in the African Cultural context. I find this necessary because for many in Africa, where access to social support through kin and faith-based organizations are usually taken for granted, experience with depression remains concealed or undisclosed or at best suppressed in the hope that somehow it will go away.

Failure to address ‘personal experience’ with depression is associated with various negative consequences including strained marriage and family relationships, stagnated career progression, alienation from society and tragedy.

Strong religiosity among Africans tends to affect people’s readiness to pursue medical and psycho-social remedies to stress and depression, coupled with the prevalence of stigma and pervasive ignorance. The mental heath dimension of depression in general, is wrongly understood by many people on the Continent and this constitutes a major barrier toward mobilization of resources to support people living with depression.

Many developed countries have well established resources, through which sufferers of major and severe depression may be supported, including access to professional counselors, medical supervision and advice, public educational programs and advocacy groups. These facilities are limited in Africa, where studies repeatedly emphasize individual access to unlimited socio-cultural resources and emotional support.

Interestingly, while this may be true of Africa a few decades ago, contemporary African societies portray a different reality, for they are rapidly undergoing transformation within the context of globalization, that seems to outpace the dynamism of the traditional social-cultural landscape. In other words, there is a ‘culture lag’ which keeps getting more and more complex, with severe emotional consequences for many. Family conflicts are on the rise and the proof of this is reflected in the increasing phenomena of spousal conflict and homicides, as well as family instability.

The Self-actualization of individuals within a predominantly, normative, extended family-oriented, resource-poor environment remains a major challenge. This is partly because the extent to which social change has affected belief systems and definition of social roles among others remains largely unexplored outside academic and policy circles, and is closely associated to poor communication and conflict management skills especially in families.

The purpose if this blog is, therefore, to create an informal avenue for discussion of stress and depression in the home and coping strategies from individual experiences, with the view to helping readers to deal more effectively with them.

You are welcome to freely post comments ans share your experiences.


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