Since the EndSARS protest erupted in Nigeria mental health has become a paramount topic amongst people as the protest gradually extends across the globe with Nigerians in the diaspora joining the protest. The amount of information in the media is about the protest can be a handful to take in. ideally, staying informed about what is going on in the news would not have to feel exhausting.
But between keeping up with the news inflow in nearly everyday and keeping track of the subsequent issues and call to action, you might find yourself on your phone at 1 a.m., scrolling through Instagram, twitter and Facebook, wondering if you will ever feel joy again.
Starting with this quote to make sure anyone reading henceforth, knows and understands clearly what you are feeling at the moment. And I specifically want you to know that you are not alone. At this point, every social media space looks like a provocation. With that said, we are living in the waves of agitation. If you are feeling some form of fatigue from the news, trust that you are not alone.
Considering that therapy might be expensive in Nigeria, and at a time where mental illness is not a popular subject, what happens to those who are spiraling in the unknown waves of countering mental illness at this moment? People being shot upfront in the protests, police beating your friends mercilessly; all of these could be triggering. There is a high chance, people would develop a certain chronic mental illness during and after this phase of unrest in our country.
Keep your mental health on check with these tips
Know what Agitates you
Keep checks on what is triggers you. Constant check of visual images might be a trigger. Avoid Instagram because it is mostly graphical. Before you add your voice to create something meaningful, you need to keep yourself right first. If you want to attend a protest but somehow you feel uncomfortable/unsafe; talk to a friend. Try figuring out what’s the change you are trying to bring here? What is the end goal? And remember that your mental health matters. If you are feeling comfortable behind the screens where you pick your battles, do it! Every voice matters in every way.
Agitation Above Normalcy
The moment you monitor your agitation, you might be able to tell when it exceeds normalcy. If and when your agitation exceeds, seek help from a trusted person, go to a therapist or call the helpline number. Do not take it lightly. Try looking out for these signs: Fatigue, Anxiousness, Constant numbness, Cold/Hot sweat, Dizziness, Breathing problem and Constant fear of conflict. Keep an eye for these signs.
A Constant Fear of Conflict
The constant fear of conflict is caused by Social Anxiety, which is very likely to happen in the current scenario. You might have been a supporter of a different viewpoint earlier based on which you made a set of friends. Now, after some time your viewpoint, as well as the political stand, has changed. But you are unable to talk about that or make your view public because you have a fear of conflict.
Often in this kind of scenario, people’s opinions get faded out. Because they can’t say ‘No’ or are afraid of causing a problem. For countering these kinds of symptoms, practice saying ‘No’. Start by saying ‘No’ to small things like: Tell your boyfriend/girlfriend, you can’t go for a date because you are busy doing something else. This could be one of the possible suggestions. Go to your nearest mental health expert for help.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. PTSD is very common among the army returning from wars or crime victims. Thousands of people might fall victim to this illness, at the moment. Look out for the signs after any violent incident and seek help immediately.
This situation, where Nigerians stands today is a critical one but not one of the surprises. We saw it coming one day or the other.
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