Have you ever lost your patience with someone who see You or your friend/loved one or colleague could be dealing with mild anxiety or it could be post traumatic stress disorder.
PTSD is a common mental illness in Nigeria that is sadly unrecognised and therefore goes undiagnosed in far too many instances. PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events (source NHS 2015). As a result of popular culture, we tend to associate PTSD with violent events such as armed combat or robbery, rape and physical assault. However, deeply emotional experiences including miscarriage or the loss of a loved one can trigger PTSD.
Why are we discussing PTSD?
At Avon HMO, mental wellness is a topic of considerable importance. We live in a country where we are constantly bombarded with daily reports and images of armed attacks, terrorism, destruction and negative stressors. Despite this, the Nigerian society has not accepted that these events adversely impact one’s mental health. We are more comfortable believing that mental illness is due to supernatural causes.
Sadly, this collective (and intentional?) ignorance about mental health in Nigeria does not encourage nor support active searches for information. Fortunately, more people have access to online credible resources e.g. NHS UK and PTSDUK.org. These resources include tests that can help identify if you or a loved one are possibly dealing with PTSD or another mental illness. In Nigeria, the Mental Health Foundation also provides significant support to patients and their families.
There is strength in seeking advice
If you think that you or a loved one may be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we have posed a series of questions below that we hope encourages you to seek medical advice. Self-assessment tests should NEVER replace a valid diagnosis from a trained mental health professional.
Since the event…
Have you had nightmares about this experience?
Are you constantly watchful or easily startled?
Do you fight to keep out bad memories?
Have you been having issues sleeping?
Do you get angry or irritable easily?
Are you consciously or unconsciously distancing yourself from friends and loved ones
Have you lost interest in your hobbies?
Do you have anxiety attacks in traffic?
Are you having difficulties concentrating or solving problems?
Do you find it tough to express emotions?
If your answer to most of these questions was yes, and you have had these occurrences for more than a week, please speak to a loved one and seek medical help. Our Preventive and Wellness Team is always on hand to guide you in the right direction. Please contact us on 0802 8899 319 or [email protected].
There is no shame in seeking advice or treatment for post traumatic stress disorder, you are stronger than you think and we applaud you for it.