Regulate Medicine Advertisement to Curb Drug Abuse, Depression, Psychiatrist Urges Govt

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Psychiatrist Identifies Stress as Risk Factor for Depression, Mental Health Problems

A mental health advocate, Prof. Fatai Badru, Tuesday, called for the proper regulation of drug advertisements, to curb abuse and also reduce the growing incidence of depression among Nigerians.

Badru, a Professor of Psychiatric Social Work at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

NAN reports that depression is a mental health condition marked by an overwhelming feeling of sadness, isolation, and despair that affects how a person thinks, feels and functions.

Badru said that mental depression had become rampant among the populace, particularly the youth, noting that government needs to address the challenge.

He said that the increase in depression cases had made it imperative for more attention to be paid to it as it could continue to have adverse effects on the populace and the economy.

According to him, an average Nigerian is mentally depressed.

He said that depression could be normal, and was only an indicator of underlying disease when feelings become excessive and interfere with daily living.

Badru listed causes of depression to include: restless sleep, stress, anxiety, financial troubles, repeatedly going over thoughts, childhood trauma, a job loss, or a divorce.

He added that certain medical conditions such as an underactive thyroid gland, cancer, heart disease, prolonged pain, and other significant illnesses might also trigger depression.

“Imbalance in the brain’s signaling chemicals most times is responsible for mental depression in many patients.

“Depression can affect people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic classes, and can strike at any time.

“People with depression may experience a variety of symptoms, but most commonly, “a deep feeling of sadness or a marked loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities,” Badru said.

According to him, early diagnosis or detection of mental depression is necessary for appropriate medications.

Badru added that untreated mental depression could increase the risk of alcohol or drug abuse, suicide, anxiety, social isolation and relationship conflicts.

He said that depression treatment could involve psychotherapy therapy, medications, or a combination of the two.

“Left untreated, major depression can set off a chain of social, emotional, and health consequences that add to the patients’ overall stress condition.

“Prescription drugs, called antidepressants, help alter mood by affecting naturally occurring brain chemicals,” he added. 

(NAN)

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