A yet to be unidentified person was said to have jumped over the railings along Third Mainland Bridge into the lagoon early on Monday morning in an apparent suicide.
According to eyewitnesses at the scene of the incident, the person had come down from a black Ford Explorer SUV parked along the bridge and proceeded to jump into the lagoon around the University of Lagos portion of the bridge.
This brings to mind a similar incident two years ago which saw another person come down from their vehicle on the bridge and jump into the lagoon as well; reminding everyone once more of the dangers inherent in depression.
Depression is a state of critically low self-esteem and self judgement characterised by a moody nature and significant loss of interest in activities, as a result of one or a series of negative events in the person’s life – be it subtle or stated.
Events such as the death of a loved one, great financial loss, pressure at work, domestic violence and harassment, continued failure in job search or starting a business, cyber attacks in the form of trolling, body shaming, exposure of deep secrets, and betrayal such as in a romantic relationship can lead to depression.
Also, there are cases of women who deal with depression soon after giving birth to a child in what is known as post-partum depression and comprises feelings of anxiety, sadness, and extreme tiredness.
Other types of depression include persistent depressive disorder which lasts for years and takes time before it is diagnosed, and bipolar disorder which sees a person deal with their depression by having a dual personality.
The onset of depression in a person could lead to suicidal thoughts by such a person if not checked and treated on time – which makes constant communication and empathy among all persons paramount in improving each person’s quality of life.
By simply keeping in touch, or liking a photo, or retweeting and commenting on a post in this age of millennials, you could be playing a major part in easing another person’s state of depression without even realising it.
It is advised by the National Institute of Mental Health that exercising regularly, having a close confidant, taking part in activities, setting realistic goals for yourself, and embracing the fact that one’s recovery process is gradual not immediate helps with easing depression.
And in the case where antidepressants are involved, it is advised by NIMH that it should be taken strictly by doctor’s orders and should not be stopped unless the doctor has deemed one well enough to live without them.
Treatment for depression is also not a fixed process as depression varies among individuals – therefore, it’s unwise to compare one’s state of depression with another. Yes, it may seem ridiculous to you that someone you know cannot get over losing some money when you have lost more; rather, you should help guide the person to realising it is not the end of their world and, more importantly, they have all the required attributes to bounce back in good time.
Finally, it is not enough to await someone to open up to you about being depressed because you have expressed an availability to being there for the depressed, we all need to actively observe people around us and take steps to ensure they really are feeling fine.