The inception of the Purple Network for Muslimah was an interesting one. It was through a story of purpose borne of pain as the chief organizer, Bashirat Abdulwahab narrated her journey through life, there was a collective reaction of awe and understanding. Needless to say, that same pain is what brought about her nurturing spirit.
For the event, Mindset Muslimah Kaduna, Mental health was the main focus of discussion. The hostess shed more light on what mental illness is really about saying that absolute madness is not what mental illness is as against what people think about. Depression, PTSD, OCD are all part of it.
On the issue of drugs abuse, she said that many people use drugs as coping mechanisms to get away from their trouble so they need more help than judgement and just like any medication, the more drugs are being abused, the more the body gets used to it and the more the intake- it’s a vicious cycle.
7 million recorded people are depressed in Nigeria because of the societies lack of acceptance of mental health issues. The stress and our inability to seek help makes the numbers keep rising making Nigeria the country with the most depressed people in Africa.
She reiterated on the importance of coming to terms with your mental status as well as the physical .
How To Know A Person is Depressed? You need to know more about it first to Identify it. It may be hysteria which comes and goes and if left unchecked, can degenerate into a bigger disease. It could manifest as a result of toxic negative emotions or anger or pressure and to guilt. The list is endless.
We need to pay attention to behavioral changes in people around us for example loss of interest,change in sleeping and eating pattern and so on. When you notice that, it’s best to talk to that person because something is definitely wrong.
The discussion was taken over by Labibah Saed, a clinical psychologist who spoke about what to do in the face of mental illness. It could be anxiety, OCD, PTSD and many other issues we are ignorant about.
Mental health is all inclusive and the earlier we accept the status of our mental health the closer we move towards getting better. It’s just like recognizing physical illnesses e.g malaria, you need to first come to terms with it before we seek help.
It’s true that seeking spiritual help is the major part. When you communicate with your Lord everything becomes easier but when you actually talk to people, it really gets a lot better so pray about it but talk about it too.
She called on everyone around as a parent, as family to accept the people with genetic disorders eg Autism, Down syndrome so that they could come out of their shells and display their special abilities because most of them are actually gifted.
People usually ask the questions why. Why me? why now? But there’s no one reason why. It is subjective and it can be caused by external factors and there are many types of therapies for each issue so it is not limited to drugs and talking therapy.
She encouraged psycho-education where the patient and his family all get educated on the dynamics of the mental health. It makes identification of the disease a lot easier and how to handle it.
Aishatu Dahiru addressed the effect of adverse childhood experience. Raising awareness is critical when it comes to adverse childhood experiences.
We got to take the resiliency test which was super insightful and generally helpful as long as you are honest to yourself. I encourage everyone to take the tests https://testyourself.psychtests.com/bin/transfer_mobile because I feel it does better in helping you address you issues.
It’s good to know how resilient you are but it may be detrimental to you so seeking help is not relative to resilience. No matter the experience there’s always help so giving up is not an option.
Next, we had refreshments and it was while munching on Samosa and puff puff that Amina Zakari shared her experience with us. Safe to say that like everyone present, her encounter with depression only made her stronger.
I got to lay my own contribution to the table and directly addresses the importance of acquainting teachers and educationists on the diversity of the mental state of mind and also possibly including such education into the curriculum.
Hauwa’u Kulu Shuaibu, a lecturer of physics in NDA also shared in on her story and offered some viable solutions to the educational dilemma.
Other contributors were special guests Maryam Bambale, CEO of Rymbas Galore and Farida Yahya, Writer of ‘Redefining Beautiful’ and founder, Lumo Naturals.
The program rounded up after a lecture on being a Muslim woman in the society and what it truly takes by Yasmin all the way from Abuja.
It was truly an insightful, interesting, eye-opening and educational event and we hope to see and help in facilitating more of them because mental awareness is much needed in Nigeria.
And as the call to action by Hauwa’u Kulu Shuaibu went, we should all endeavor to contribute financially whenever we can because the organizers basically did everything from their own pockets. That single gesture will go a long way.
Thank you Purple Muslimah Network for Mindset Muslimah.