Fuel, Naira scarcity: Psychiatrist advises Nigerians to stay positive, avoid depression

by Tom Chiahemen
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A Professor of Psychiatric Medicine, Prof. Monday Igwe, has advised Nigerians to stay positive in the midst of scarcity of fuel and the redesigned Naira notes in order to overcome depression and other mental complications.

Igwe, who is the Medical Director of Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, gave the advice while speaking to a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Wednesday.

The don spoke on how best Nigerians can manage their psychological health in the face of the economic realities of fuel and naira scarcity.

”My advice to Nigerians is to cultivate features of positive mental well-being such as love, joy, forgiveness and positive appraisal of events.

“These attributes enhances well-being and protect against mental illness.

“They should also utilise positive coping mechanisms such as problem solving approaches, seeking for advice and ventilating when necessary.

“Making use of the social support available from families and friends also cushion the effect of stress,” he said.

Igwe, however, said that it was a known fact that the mental well-being of individuals and communities are usually strained in periods of adversities.

He said that the current situation in the country might reduce socio-economic activities with consequent rise in indices of social disadvantage such as poverty.

“Their cumulative effect on mental well-being is well established and may manifest in the immediate or in the future.

“What we do know is that when peoples’ livelihoods are threatened, many may react with anxiety symptoms.

“Others may adopt maladaptive coping mechanisms such as use of drugs and other psychoactive substances to relieve their distress,” he said.

He said that the worsening stressful experiences of Nigerians can make vulnerable individuals come down with mild mental health issues, which if not given immediate and comprehensive psychiatric treatment might lead to full blown mental health issues. (NAN)

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