Following the death of Veteran Nollywood actress, Ada Ameh, some Nigerian artistes have bared their minds on their experiences with depression.
Many people have speculated that depression or mental breakdown may have contributed or led to the actress’ death, although the cause of her death is not yet known.
Prior to her death, the Actress had opened up about her mental health challenges in June 2022. She explained in an instagram video, that she was given a job but could not execute because she was undergoing mental health challenges at the time.
On 1st July, 2022 ,in her last interview on “TVC’s Your View”, Ameh exposed that she suffered max depression, even before her daughter’s death, but it worsened after she lost her only child. The actress had experienced what seemed to be like a constant battle with grief, and having to have lost seven of her family members and lastly her only child, most likely, contributed to worsening her health condition.
In the interview, She said, “When my daughter died, my world crumbled before me, and sometimes, I see myself crying for days.”
After her demise on the 17th of July, 2022, a few other celebrities have opened up about their battles with depression.
1.) Omah Stanley Didia, a Nigerian singer and songwriter, popularly known as Omah Lay, in a series of tweets on the 18th of July, 2022, revealed that he battled depression while working on his debut album. ‘Boy Alone ‘
The ‘understand’ crooner revealed that he was struggling emotionally and contemplated suicide before releasing the said album in June, 2022.
2.) Popular Nigerian musician, Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk, in an interview with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, the singer revealed that he took a break from the music industry because the fame was too toxic for him,
He said : With hits come pressure; the ups and the downs. Fans don’t see that. But you as an artiste have to tell yourself the truth, take some time off, and do what’s right. It was very intentional for me to leave and come back better.
“For me, I wasn’t ready for all of that. I knew I was going to be famous, but I didn’t realise it was going to be that huge. The effects on me weren’t so good at some point. Yeah, of course. It was a toxic time for me.
“I had to shut down. I lost my mind. Mentally, I was gone. If I didn’t, I won’t be here today. Ubi Franklin and I made up a long time ago, but we didn’t say so on social media. The issues that made us fall apart don’t exist anymore.
“I was young and everything happened so fast. Now I know you have to listen to people, especially those giving you advise for growth. Yeah, I’m in a different headspace. And I’m more mature,”
Many other celebrities have, in the past, opened up about their battles with depression.
3.) Popular Nollywood actress Toyin Abraham, revealed that at some point in her life, she battled depression and took to alcohol and drugs.
She made this known in an exclusive interview with Broadway TV. The actress also revealed that the end of her marriage to Actor Adeniyi Jones really messed up with her head.
4.) Actress, Tonto Dikeh revealed that she suffered from depression in 2013 and attempted to take her own life at that time before she took depression classes.
A couple of other celebrities have been open about their mental health and their battle with depression.
Depression, which is a mental health disorder, is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest in activities, resulting to a significant impairment in daily life and could lead to suicide or death.
Often times, people suffering from a mental illness or disorder experience feelings of shame, stigma and discrimination.
Unfortunately mental health has greatly been underestimated in Nigeria. The World Health Organization, WHO, estimates that fewer than 10 percent of mentally ill Nigerians have access to the care they need. This is despite the fact Nigeria ranks the highest in depression caseload in Africa. One in four Nigerians –about 50 million people– are suffering from some sort of mental illness, according to the WHO.
There are less than 150 psychiatrists in this country of 200 million. This depicts the mental health crisis Nigeria is going through. Thus There is an urgent need for more sensitization, and creation of awareness around the subject of mental health in Nigeria. There is a need for proper mental health services in the country especially in rural areas.
Story: Favour Nneli