On Mental Health

What to read in October
September Wrap Up- October Reads
October 4, 2018
Things That Start Small But Sweet by Bibi Ukonu
Book Review- Things That Starts Small But Sweet by Bibi Ukonu
October 13, 2018
World Mental Health Day


Happy World Mental Health Day! This day is the reason I incorporated reading a book about mental health into this month’s theme.

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“People will always have different opinions about things and we must let them have their opinions but it doesn’t mean we must change ours”- React by Tobi Nifesi (@tobinifesi) ✍🏾 Dasience Reading Challenge: A book about mental health. I knew this book dealt with depression and suicide, it came to my mind when I was fixing a book for this prompt. ✍🏾 You know the kind of toxicity that men are told to internalize; you can’t feel and all of those stuff? It adversely affects them. This book is set in Canada and it follows the life of Seun Philips and Mide Adewale. Both former lovers whose love story took a different turn when Seun rejected Mide’s proposal because she felt he needed psychological help which he outrightly refused (He said it’s a white people thing) ✍🏾 If I continue on the story, I am going to spoil it and even though I thrive on spoilers, for this book, it is delightful to watch the drama unfold because there are a lot of deaths (Be prepared) ✍🏾 It explores depression, suicide driving under the influence, death and varying life issues. There were parts I’d laugh out loud and be like “I can’t even deal”. ✍🏾 I finished this book and told my roommate that this is one of my favourite books this year. Why? You know when they tell you if life gives you lemon make lemonades? If the beginning of this book gives you lemon be expecting pineapple juice at the end. It is a thriller, so astounding and beautifully written I must say. ✍🏾 In my opinion it would make a good movie and it is highly recommended. I enjoyed every bit of it. ✍🏾 This book was given to me in exchange of an honest review.

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I’m grateful to the improved awareness we now have especially in Nigeria, we are not where we should be (at all) concerning mental health but I think we will bridge that gap. I know our culture and the society encourages a lot of toxicity which might quiet the awareness about mental health but it will come through.

I was going through Instagram one day and I saw a tweet which basically was to link various places in Lagos with what they were famous for; I.e Ladipo for spare parts. I went through the comment section and someone said ‘Yableft for mad people’. I was disappointed in the ignorance of the person. How could you? It shows how as Nigerians we still shy away from talking about mental health and illness which are two different things although in the same spectrum.

According to this website, mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

I am not the kind of person to want to talk about mental health in third person. I will be writing this like I am addressing to myself because the truth is, being a final year student of psychology does not mean that I am above it.

My mental health is as important as my physical health. My mind affects everything I do and I must do well to protect it and cut things that are toxic away from my life. I will share how I feel, if I get too overwhelmed, I will speak to selected people or pray but if I can’t deal with it, I will get professional help. I am not above getting help. I should not be ashamed of it. Why should I be ashamed of helping myself to get better? I will not always be that strong friend that feels (s)he has everything covered because sometimes I will need someone to be strong for me.

Concerning those suffering from one mental illness or another and children or adult with special needs, I first need to understand my privilege and kids with special needs did not choose that life, the same way I did not choose to be healthy. I will be kind to them (everyone in general), I will not mock them, I will not cast a Psychiatric hospital as a terrible place for mad people, I will not just joke around with terms I don’t understand like ‘depression and bipolar’ because I don’t know if the person next to me is affected, I will not laugh to jokes about people with mental illness because it shows my stance on mental health, I will try to be knowledgeable about mental health and illness.

I’m grateful for creatives that have shared that vulnerability story, the truth is that we get hope from each other. There’s no point forming any fake deep. Let’s be real.

I will protect my space; speak affirmations if I have to, motivate myself and be kind to others.

There are things that go on in families that parents do not bother to check how it affects the child’s mental health because they are not even aware that, ‘I am fine’ is not always true. With this in mind, I will be an adult sensitive to the needs of myself and others.

Mental health is not just an Instagram Caption or another hashtag, YOUR mental health is important to your wellbeing.

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