HOW NIGERIA POSSES A RISK FACTOR FOR MENTAL HEALTH

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

The question at hand is, “How does Nigeria pose risk factors for mental health?” Mental health is a fundamental aspect of human well-being, affecting individuals, families, and societies as a whole.

 

Nigeria presents a significant risk to mental health, especially when considering the intersection of culture, religion, and governance.

Mental health becomes more than just an individual experience; it is profoundly influenced by environmental factors. This post  unveiled the multifaceted relationship between Nigeria’s social and political environment and the mental well-being of its people.

It emphasizes the substantial impact of bad governance, cultural practices, and religious beliefs. Through an exploration of these interconnected factors, we aim to shed light on the challenges faced by Nigerians and potential pathways toward improved mental health within this dynamic and evolving context.

 

BAD GOVERNANCE:

The challenges in Nigeria revolve almost entirely around bad governance. Corruption and the inadequate provision of basic services by the government have continuously led to frustration, anger, and a sense of hopelessness among citizens.

 

Inflation generates fears of survival, stress, and anxiety. Nigeria’s economic policies, from the 2015 regime to the current leadership, result in high levels of unemployment and poverty, increasing financial stress and impacting mental well-being.

When there’s bad and corrupt government, the mental health of individual residents becomes at risk.

 

CRUDE CULTURAL PRACTICES:

Some cultural practices, such as harmful traditional rites or discriminatory customs, can traumatize individuals and negatively affect their mental health. Gender-based violence and discrimination, sometimes rooted in cultural norms, can lead to depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

RELIGIOUS BELIEFS:

While religion can be a source of comfort and support, in Nigeria, extreme religious beliefs and practices sometimes lead to anxiety, guilt, or fear. Stigmatization of mental health issues within religious communities also discourages individuals from seeking help and exacerbates their conditions.

LACK OF TRUST:

When citizens lose trust in their government due to perceived mismanagement or corruption, it can lead to feelings of frustration, helplessness, and anger, which are detrimental to mental health.

LIMITED ACCESS TO BASIC SERVICES:

Ineffective governance may lead to inadequate access to essential services such as education, healthcare, and clean water, negatively impacting mental health and overall quality of life.

POLITICAL REPRESSION:

 

Forceful suppression of dissenting voices and violations of human rights, government brutality can create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, contributing to psychological distress among citizens.

 

SOCIAL UNREST:

 

Protests and civil unrest triggered by dissatisfaction with leadership can expose individuals to traumatic events and violence, leading to post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues.

HOPELESSNESS:

Just as it happened in the historic February 25th, 2023 general election in Nigeria, where people felt that their voices and choices did not matter due to oppressive leadership that snatched ballots, it resulted in a sense of hopelessness and despair, which are risk factors for depression and other mental health conditions.

 

WHAT IS THE WAY OUT ?

Addressing these environmental factors and their impact on mental health may involve efforts such as:

 

  • PERSONAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND MONITORING:

One must consciously take stock of their mental health by monitoring the impact of the environment, for instance, financial stress due to continuous inflation and the high cost of living. This demands deliberate efforts to maintain sanity in challenging times.

  • COMPASSION FOR THE NEXT NEIGHBOUR:

It’s okay not to be cruel even when everyone’s faces show anger and frustration. Show compassion without expecting anything in return. This can only be achieved when one has built their mental health wellness and emotional intelligence to cope in challenging times.

 

  • PROMOTING GOOD GOVERNANCE AND TRANSPARENCY TO IMPROVE SOCIOECONOMIC CONDITIONS:

  • Raising awareness about the importance of mental health within cultural and religious contexts.
  • Encouraging open dialogues to challenge harmful cultural practices and norms.
  • Providing mental health education and support through religious and community leaders.
  • Political reforms, transparency, and accountability in governance:

When citizens have confidence in their government and see positive changes in their living conditions, it can have a positive impact on their mental well-being.

 

 

CONCLUSION:

 

 

It’s crucial to recognize that while these environmental factors can influence mental health, they are not the sole determinants. Personal resilience and access to mental healthcare also play vital roles in an individual’s mental well-being.

THE END

 

 

What are your thoughts on Nigeria’s impact on mental health?

Share your experiences or insights on this critical issue.

Have you encountered similar challenges in your community?

How can we collectively work towards better mental health in Nigeria?

Your comments and ideas can help drive positive change. Share them below!

 

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