You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2020 08 14Article 1034083

Opinions of Friday, 14 August 2020

Columnist: Dorcas Efe Mensah

Stories of our survival: This is how I overcame depression

File photo File photo

My name is Naa and I have lived experience with depression.

It all started when I was in senior high in-between 2003 and 2004 . I think it was mostly triggered by exams. I lost interest in a lot of things, felt worthless and wanted to quit school.

As usual, my mum and auntie related it to spiritual stuff and I had to see pastors and do a lot of prayers. I got passed that episode of my life gradually. I transitioned to nursing college and right before the final exam, I started experiencing high levels of anxiety, fear of failure, hopelessness, withdrawals and more. I managed to go through the exam and passed.

I’m very vocal, jovial and easy going, hence my close friends or others could easily tell when there was a change in my mood. Things began to get worse couple of months when I started working, which I tried to suppress until I started having suicidal tendencies.

I had lost weight due to loss of appetite. I was sleeping extremely more, becoming boring, discouraged in life and with myself; neglected my personal hygiene, I never felt beautiful, I felt people around progressed in everything whiles I was stuck in life. So, I did not have any desire to live.

My mom had to drag me out of bed on one occasion into the bathroom for shower because I had not showered in 4 days. I would lock up myself in my room after work. The more I tried to get lively through church activities, hospital activities, pay to watch football matches just to mingle with people, the more I become fatigued and nothing seemed to work out.

Some of the people (doctor friends which I thought should know better) I confided in, to my surprise, distanced themselves and started telling colleagues I was depressed and that they should be careful how they dealt with me. I heard people gossiping around the hospital that 'Naa abodam oooo”.

Thankfully, I had insight of my condition, so I made a conscious decision to seek help before things got out of hand.

I told my mom I was going to Pantang hospital to seek proper care because I knew exactly what the problem was. She was not happy about the idea, all she said was Pantang is for mad people and people will think I am going nuts as well.

I literally had to tell her I had to do this for myself and what was the point of not seeking help when I had insight. More so, I did not care what people would think or say.

When I got to Pantang, I was lucky to have met some of the few friends I had made during a psychiatry affiliation and they asked if I brought a client for review; I was the client myself as I told them. They couldn’t believe it until my folder was sent to almighty Dr Eugene Dordoye.

In conclusion, I was diagnosed with depression and placed on meds. I adhered to the drug regimen, prayed always, and went for all my reviews per Dr's request.

I was determined to get well, therefore I stuck to all the doctor’s advice, didn’t stop taking my meds in as much as I started recovering. It’s been over 10 years and I haven’t had any episode.

Now, I know exactly what do to when life's storms come crushing on me - self encouragement is and was the key. I occupied myself with reading books such as “Power of Positive Thinking, The Mind, Renewing your thoughts"; literally any material that had to do with the mind, became my focus.

I made positive declarations and confessions to myself everyday and it has become part of my life.

There is hope for everyone going through depression. The feelings are awful and they suck big time, but you will sail through.

The end of my story.

Naa's story was shared by Dorcas Efe Mensah who is a Mental Health Advocate and founder of #OtherslikemeGH, an online platform creating a community of people with mental health problems to share their stories and experiences while providing support for members to live the best versions of their lives irrespective of whichever hard place they may be.