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LUTH leads awareness project to curtail suicide

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To commemorate the world health day, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH)-Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative (SURPI) in collaboration with Medical and Dental Council Association of Nigeria (MDCN) and Association of Psychiatrist of Nigeria (APN) have continued to raise awareness on how depression can be curtailed so as to avert increasing cases of suicide.

Consultant Psychiatrist Yaba, Dr. Taiwo Akindipe, in his remark said depression is an illness that is treatable, it is not due to weakness, and it is not something you can wish away and it is important to know at what time you will draw the line.

Akindipe added: “When we look at depression, it is something related to mood. We have range of emotions fluctuate. It is normal to feel sad, but how do you know depression is about to set in. Core symptoms of depression involve lost of interest in known hobby and loss of energy. Tired of participating in actions he derives joy from. Not all symptoms come at a time. Other symptoms include unable to sleep, not getting enough sleep or sleeping too much. Loss of appetite for food and if it persist they begin to lose weight and total loss of interest in sexual relationship. If a student finds it difficult to concentrate, they might have symptoms that can affect the thinking and they begin to feel guilty of imaginary things. Core symptoms plus two other symptoms for two weeks you need help.”

A Child Psychiatrist at LUTH, Dr. Yewande Oshodi, said children and adolescent due to stages in development go through depression and it comes in children with change of behaviour, like not wanting to go to school and physical symptoms like stomach pain and head ache.

She continued: “Physical symptoms in children, clinically there would not be anything found. Turbulent of changes of behaviour like irritability, a bit more withdrawn you should wonder as a guardian…”

It actually switches to a time they begin to take care of themselves by self medicating or alcohol.”

Oshodi said it is important we talk about depression because risk of suicide is high in children; she encouraged parents and guardian to explore their feelings with them that they could be passing through, peer pressure, bully or the child might be going through abuse.

Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Charles Umeh, added that depression comes with inflicting your thought with what you feel and it makes you see things in a negative angle and you start feeling bad and things around would not making sense and if you see yourself behaving in that manner, you need help else suicide steps in.

He also said that attempted suicide is more in women but completed suicide is more in men because men act like all is well but women might want to discuss about the problem.

Umeh added that people who have committed suicide have passed through depression.


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LUTHMDCNYewande Oshodi

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