Abdulwarees Solanke

Assistant Director,

Strategic Planning & Corporate Development Department

Voice of Nigeria

Ikoyi, Lagos

Recently, I used the suicide of the Ivorien international footballer, Emmanuel Eboue who hanged himself in London to illustrate the definition of depression. I had concluded the piece in the following words:

Virtually skinned of his means of life by his European wife in a most exploitative divorce, Emmanuel who had laced his boots for the best of football teams in Europe found no support in his depressing state. Last week, he found a honourable way’ to end it all, by hanging himself in London. Perhaps, many victims of depression have been dumped into the Bar Beach or buried alive because they do not want them to stain family reputation. It’s time to talk about depression more openly; for its victims might after all outnumber those of HIV/AIDS that is the subject of international campaign and public expenditure.

Today, I look at the phenomenon of depression, both from the how the external lead the individual into the depressive state and also from how the person nudges himself into it.

Like HIV, the virus of depression attacks the human immunity.  When an individual lapses into depression, he loses presence, colour and vigour. He loses concentration and motivation. He loses confidence and faith in himself and even in his creator. Instead of seeing the beauty of his past, the goodies in his hand and the future prospects others see in him, he sees himself as living in a world that is bland and dark. He now swims in an ocean of darkness and hopelessness. His taste buds are punctured and he enjoys no sweetness from the food of the best culinary expert. His sense of aroma is dulled. He loses all feelings of love and sexual expression. He shuts himself away from the world of abundance, disconnected from family and helpers. He sees everyone as making him a laughing stock, so he avoids them. He sees them as the source or origin of his problems. He even hates them. He is ever moody and silent. You can’t get him animated because he has lost all interests he once was interested in or everybody has interest. His world is a dull grey or blue.

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