November 29, 2023

A mental health advocate, Dr. Edward Kamma, has sought more research on depression to help provide information and data needed for the effective management of the condition.

Kamma, the Vice-President, Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Yaba, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos.

He decried that the country lacked adequate data and information about depression.

He said there was a need for government to collaborate with private organisations and health institutions to conduct qualitative and quantitative research on it.

According to him, such research will help to give better information about depression and provide better solutions.

He added that all ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic groups were vulnerable to depression, and it had very high personal, social, and economic costs.

“The essence of carrying out research is to give an analogy about what is currently happening.

“Research exposes you to ideologies, problems, and gives better awareness of what is happening in society and the country will be able to make well-informed decisions.

“The research on depression should focus on neuroscience, reflecting the essential characteristics of depression as a category of mental illness and better reflecting the fact that depression is an important link in the human public health care”.

The psychiatrist described depression as a menace that had eaten deep into the society, saying that a lot of people in the country were depressed.

He explained that every average Nigerian was mentally depressed at one point or the other in their lifetime.

According to him, depression is characterised by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy one’s pleasurable activities.

Kamma regretted that many under depression had committed suicide or attempted to take away their lives, adding that depression was also a major cause of death, particularly in young people, through suicide.

The psychiatrist explained that people suffering from major depression were 21 times more likely to die by suicide than nondepressed individuals.

He said, “Depressive disorders are present in approximately half of the completed suicides, and this proportion is even higher if the presence of subclinical depressive symptoms is considered

“Given the connection between depression and suicide, it is not surprising that improving the care of people with depression is considered an effective suicide prevention approach.”


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