Saturday, 28 January 2017

POSTNATAL DEPRESSION: IT'S NOT MY PORTION


Postnatal depression thrives amongst us, yet, it is an unappreciated reality in the African society. When discussions on mental health arise, more often than not, phrases such as "God forbid" "I reject" "It's not my portion" rend the air. 
In spite of not being anyone's portion, we encounter women who suffer this disorder in
silence, afraid of being tagged "Psychiatry cases". We are thus challenged with situations whereby affected persons hide behind a facade of normalcy while manageable disorders smoulder in the background, fanned by the fear of being stigmatized.
Alex Jakana in his article titled " Is postnatal depression taken seriously in Africa?" came to the conclusion that "The understanding of postnatal depression is still elusive in our environment".
Interestingly, going through the comment section of this article proved quite revealing. I was literally snowballed by the level of ignorance festering. Below, I share a few of the comments...
" Postnatal depression is not an African problem, we are too busy trying to survive "
"Depression is a disease of the Westerners"
"It's for the privileged who have time to feel sorry for themselves"
"Growing up in a small village in Northwest Cameroon, post delivery depression is attributed to spells cast or witches at play"
"Did their own parents feel this way they feel? If yes, would they have been in existence? Shame on anyone whose thoughts on having babies is stress"
"Having a baby can be a demanding and stressful experience"

The knowledge of postnatal depression is little to nonexistent in the society. Rather than seek medical help, relatives and caregivers are more inclined to visit spiritual homes and prayer houses.
Did the Bible not say, give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's? Isn't it also fair to let Medical professionals manage medical cases and Men of the collar manage spiritual problems?
In a bid to educate as always, I have decided to do an article on postnatal depression titled:
Post Partum Depression: An Unappreciated Reality.
Coming soon on healthglamm.com 

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