Mental health is not a ‘Gen Z’ thing. It is simply getting more concern and awareness in this generation, therefore, it isn’t something people in this generation made up. A common trend in Nigeria is people making up reasons or excuses as to why you’re exhibiting symptoms of mental illness – depression or anxiety.
Some link it to laziness, some chalk it up to wavering faith in religion, a few may suggest village people or the wicked stepmother, while others simply find another basis for why you’re exhibiting these symptoms; but none of them points towards mental health
It is also said that younger people tend to claim this mental health thing, yet, one in every six Nigerian children suffers depression.
Some people laugh at it and say it is a fancy term for people who do not want to accept responsibility. It is ridiculed and neglected in most ways, also undermined, and finally swept under the carpet. Depression and other mental health issues are real. They should be viewed with the same seriousness as medical conditions or illnesses.
There are so many things and factors that could affect one’s mental health. For example; We (you and I) have the ability and are capable of affecting someone’s mental health. This comes from the words we say down to the things we do. I’ve met so many people that talk without being considerate of the recipient’s feelings.
Either they say they are blunt or realists, but they just lack good communication skills and maybe even manners. There are numerous ways to say the truth to someone without deliberately making it hurt in the name of being real. Saying hurtful things or being ‘real’ lowers people’s self-esteem and messes with their heads.
No wonder more children seem to be sad because even their parents, loved ones, and the ones closest to them say a lot of things that affect them negatively. The word stupid or slow are often used on children and parents say it is a way to jerk them up and make them active.
How cliché is that?
These words over time begin to affect them and it affects them negatively. We all can affect each other positively and negatively. Let’s all work towards our mental wellness and the mental health of every other person.
It starts with something as simple as saying something nice to someone, watching the words you use on people, and apologizing when realizing you shouldn’t have talked to someone in some type of way you did.
Say something nice to someone today, it all helps our mental and emotional wellbeing.