Just like their counterparts all over the world, Nigerian celebrities too are becoming outspoken about their battle with depression.
Depression is a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity. Often described as the constant feeling of being numb.
We rounded up 10 Nigerian celebrities who have been open and candid about dealing with depression and other issues surrounding mental health.
In an effort to bring awareness, see what these stars have to say on social media about their own struggles with depression.
Actress, Tonto Dikeh whose marriage to Churchill has been annulled after series of accusations and backlash from both parties revealed that she suffered from depression in 2013 and attempted to take her own life at that time before she took depression classes.
She revealed this in one of her post on Instagram;
“I would say I have a great and strong personality. I love myself so much. I am not also as shy as most people think I am. I didn’t let depression eat me up. You have to fight depression and overcome it; I did and won. I started the Tonto Dikeh Foundation so I can help others conquer depression.”
Media personality, Toke Makinwa who lost her parents in a fire accident is also a victim of suicide attempt after her marriage with fitness expert, Maje Ayida hit the rocks.
According to her, she suffered from a lot of depression and lost hope of living. Then one day as she was sitting in her bedroom a very strong thought came for her to drink a bottle of Dettol, so she could die to avoid the shame and ridicule.
“I was sitting in the bedroom one day. There was a bottle of Dettol in the bathroom and a thought came, very strong, “Just drink it and die. What’s the point? The whole world is laughing at you right now. Just end it.”
For Nigerian actress, Moyo Lawal, she stayed away from social media for some period of
time, before revealing that depression and suicidal thoughts kept her away.
According to her, it all felt like she was living in a body fighting to survive with a mind that has been trying to die.
Here’s what she wrote;
“Dear Lovers …… Am sorry, I have been away and silent this past couple of months but you see ,I haven’t been able to explain what was going on in my mind and my heart. All i know, is that I have been living in a body fighting to survive with a mind that has been trying to die . ………………. P.s I missed you,so so much ML,” she wrote after the post.
For Nike Oshionowo, endometriosis made the former beauty queen went into depression. Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside your uterus.
Narrating her ordeal she said; “Living with endometriosis is a challenge. When you see your doctor, your doctor just tries to treat the symptoms and assumes the pain resolves around your menstrual cycle.
“But this is not so. The pain affects every single aspect of your life. I have never had an examination without my period, I have never travelled without my period.
“There are so many things I have never done without my period. When I’m very happy, my period comes, When I’m depressed, my period is there. I learned just to cope with it. I love the quote that women wear their pain like stilettos. That’s what I have been doing.”
On Air Personality, OAP, Osikhena Dirisu aka Osi Suave revealed some pretty personal issues including his struggle with asthma and clinical depression adding that he has attempted suicide three times!
“Depression is very real and we keep making fun of people going through it. We do not have the same threshold to handle pain. That Hommie tried to Jump off a bridge today scares the shit out of me. I hope he finds help. What would break me might not break you mentally and vice versa. We are not wired the same way.
“You know what is weird about depression.? It blind sides you. You can be having a very sunny day and ur mood will just dampen. I have found a way to deal with mine. And I am sure many pple re still fightin to pull thru each day. D key is to find a reason 2stay alive. The first key towards fighting depression is to speak to someone.
“You can’t bottle up everything you are going through inside you. If you’re battling depression and you want to talk to someone. Please feel free to hit me up.”
Actress, Halima Abubakar revealed she was depressed for 7 months. Halima said the depression was as a result of a split with her ex-boyfriend.
The famous movie star in an interview spoke about how depression affected her health and general well-being. She said;
“A lot of people don’t really understand what being depressed is. Some may say they are sad, they are not but depressed. But what happens is that they don’t know they’re depressed, they’re just sad” said the actress.
“Initially, I thought I was just low, until I started having a migraine. I couldn’t sleep. At a point, I couldn’t even sleep for two weeks. You wouldn’t believe it, I was thinking I had a migraine, the doctor said I had typhoid. So, we’re treating typhoid and before I knew it, I was hospitalized.
“I broke up with my boyfriend and I didn’t handle it well. Not me alone, we both didn’t handle the situation well. But you know I am a woman, we all react differently.”
“I was under medication for a while. Of course, I have my family with me, each of them came after the other to keep me company.”
“I didn’t accept any role that period because I shot like two or three roles that time but I didn’t feel like I used to.”
Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
Famous writer, Chimamanda Adichie revealed she suffered from depression in a long article released by Guardian UK last year.
The highly successful novelist narrating her depression wrote, “Sometimes it begins with a pimple. A large shiny spot appears on my forehead. Or it begins with a feeling of heaviness, and I long to wear only loose-fitting clothes.
“Then my mood plunges, my lower back aches, my insides turn liquid. Stomach cramps come in spasms so painful I sometimes cry out. I lose interest in the things I care about.
“My family become unbearable, my friends become strangers with dark intentions, and cashiers and waiters seem unforgivably rude”.
Chimamanda later went on therapy to beat down her depression.”
Nigerian comedian, Julius Agwu’s case was a different one. The actor and comedian who suffered from brain tumor disclosed that the experience after discovering he had the disease was not wonderful at all.
After he discovered he had brain tumour all he wanted to do was to commit suicide while he searched for his property documents to give to his wife as he prepared for death.
He said this during an interview,
“I started looking for my property documents to give to my wife. One day when they were not home, I almost committed suicide,”
Nigerian music artist manager and CEO of record label Made Men Music Group, Ubi Franklin, shared a post on his Instagram page where he revealed that he almost committed suicide between July 2016 and March 2017 when he struggled hard to overcome bouts of depression that nearly pushed him to commit suicide.
“I had thought that the depression would stop at this point, but, to my dismay, it didn’t. Even after I finished paying for my mortgage, it grew worse.
“I was so scared and all I kept saying and asking myself was ‘Who will take care of my son? I got home and started acting in a funny manner. My security guard had already turned on the generator. I screamed at him to turn it off that I needed some peace and quiet. I was in that dark house all by myself and everything was falling part.”
Nigerian singer, Aituaje Iruobe, known as Waje revealed how she went through depression a few years ago and was able to overcome it.
The talented singer made it known during an interview and said,
“The thing is, many times when people talk about depression, I always come from the angle where there is a difference between depression and anger. A depressed person does not even know that they are depressed, they will give every reason to think that they are not in that place. When you are depressed, you don’t want to eat, you don’t want to go out, your life stops literally.
“I have come to realise that being someone in the limelight, you have to guard your territory, I have been in that space where… I wouldn’t say mine was depression, mine was anger management, it was a kind of depression but the only way I could express myself was through anger.
“I remember that time, that was the year we got signed as Glo ambassadors so actually my career was doing really good. I just released my album, I was nominated in four categories in World Music Awards every year, money dey come. But I had anger issues, why because I just didn’t see myself the way I wanted to see myself. I saw myself through everybody’s eye. I would look at you and whatever you tell me about me is what I would accept”.