By Foibe N Paavo
SWAKOPMUND, 29 April 2022 – The prevalence of mental illness is estimated to have risen by 26% over the 2021 rate and is expected to double by 2025 in Namibia, according to mental health research statistics.
And it’s beyond gloomy that it has become a day-after-day thing to read about mental health-related deaths, especially among the youth. It is, however, a disturbing issue that calls for genuine attention and kindness towards one another.
We observe people who are experiencing mental problems on a daily basis. And such psychological states have different causes that can lead to depression or even death and scream awareness.
We wonder about the long faces we see in stores with marks of loneliness and depression written all over them. Or security guards at the ATMs who sit quietly hunched in corners wishing for the day to go by anyhow, as long as it goes by faster so tomorrow can come and go by again, the same way as yesterday did.
You could bump into one of the downhearted souls and they wouldn’t even notice because their minds seem to wander off somewhere else at that very moment.
I was standing right next to a guy in the store and he dropped his items without even noticing, I had to constantly poke him to pick them up. So there he was, standing in the line to pay for heaven knows what, with the bag lying on the floor. I asked him if he was okay and this was his response: “Sorry my mind wandered off somewhere. I’m wondering what my wife and kids would eat today.”
I hear similar blue thoughts all around me on a daily basis, either from peers when I climb into a taxi or even from friends. Most of them seem to have money issues or academic failures. These and unemployment seem to be the most contributing factors that are seriously overlooked.
”I’m not the only one. People are so bankrupt and still struggling to stand on their feet. Others lost money on the stock market that’s why I’ll keep going,” said one.
Here are a few of the daily lines that I’ve heard:
“I need money, that’s why I’m depressed. I’m under the pressure of providing for my family but I’m jobless therefore I try to keep up with the daily struggle”
“I’m failing in my studies and it’s often depressing”
There are a lot of stigmas attached to mental health. People stress and fight different battles every day for different reasons. And contributing factors that are really complex could be anxiety, antisocial personality disorder, broken homes, and failure to keep up with society’s expectations could lead to wayward behavior because of built-up pressure.
And these silent psychological effects sometimes lead to domestic violence, abuse of any kind, or even worse, suicide.
“The struggling peers are encouraged to seek out professional support to cope and maintain a healthy mental state,” concerned doctors encouraged. – Namibia Daily News