One in four Nigerians suffer from mental illness – Experts

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Two medical experts, Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, and a medical consultant at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Dr. Olumuyiwa Odunsote, have declared that 60-million Nigerians have various degrees of mental disorder.

They made this known in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital in a chat with newsmen.
Speaking, Dr. Odunsote said mental breakdown goes hand in with depression adding that Nigerians are facing constant onslaught of stress.

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He explained, “In Africa, the end stage of mental illness is when the person has gone out of control, which is what is seen as madness.

“But, internationally, somebody who is still under control can be diagnosed with some level of mental disorder.

“Why this can be true is because a lot of people are depressed, a lot of people undergo severe stress and are highly frustrated in the country.

“Some of these people, in a bid to handle problems, take to drugs, alcohol and exhibit extreme behaviours.”

On his part, Dr. Ipaye said 60-million Nigerians suffer diagnosable mental disorder but only about 20 to 25 percent of these people have full blown mental health problem.

The Ogun State Commissioner for Health advocated for the establishment of community mental homes in every nook and cranny of Nigeria.

He urged the federal government to prioritise primary healthcare intervention for minor mood disorder just as he advised people to go for psychotherapy checkup.

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