As a Nigerian, having an appointment with a therapist is rare and bizarre.
The moment you tell someone I have a therapy appointment, the first thing that comes to mind is that the person is probably not mentally stable. The funny thing is, people with a certain level of education tend to initially have the same reaction when a shrink or therapist is mentioned because it is not Normal.
Nigeria as the seventh largest country in the world has the highest case of depression in all of Africa and ranks number fifteen in the world according to the World Health Organization.
Honestly, as long as you are Nigerian, you should have your own therapist, because the amount of emotional and mental stress we experience on daily bases, from the aggressive road users to the unfavourable standard of living or even the gruelling educational process is enough to make anyone question their existence.
In the western world, therapy is the same thing as a vital check-up, people do it willingly and most big organisations provide it for their employees; so the question is why does it look foreign and abnormal in this part of the world?
The thing is Nigerians and even Africans as a whole, are very religious and superstitious and liken every mental problem be it madness or depression to demonic possession or the popular term village people.
Because of their beliefs, instead of asking the right question and taking care of their mental health, they rather seek spiritual help on issues that in fact has nothing to do with spirituality.
Therapy Enhances Interpersonal Relationships
Low self-esteem is one of the reasons for suicide and also a major reason for eating disorders and depression. Most people do not even know they have an eating disorder because these are not things discussed in homes or in general.
Therapy helps a person with self-esteem and self-confidence because a person’s thoughts and actions are a reflection of how they see themselves.
Writing this article was very interesting, and I hope this article serves as a wake-up call to book that appointment with the therapist and learn to devote time to your mental health because it is just as important as your physical health.
Now, why is therapy important even when your mental and physical health seems fine?
Therapy Improves Stress Management
The Nigerian life is a stressful life, you have to wake extra early to beat traffic for a job that you have probably not been paid for the past two months, then you enter the popular ‘danfo’ and fight the driver over 50 Naira change, stressing your already sleep-deprived self and before you get to work, your head already aches.
Now, imagine not having to fight the driver no matter the provocation, imagine having tips and life hacks that put you under control and reduce your chances of being stressed out. That’s what therapy does for you, it helps you cope with stress and reduces your chances of being diagnosed with High Blood Pressure, because when stress is not properly managed it leads to high blood pressure which is something a lot of Nigerians tend to suffer from.
A therapist can introduce you to new concepts like radical acceptance so that you do not stress over everything because certain things are above your control.
In conclusion, if You are wondering how you are supposed to cope now that you have lost your dream job, or you are wondering where to from here when the person you envisioned forever with suddenly ends things with you, then therapy is vital for you..