Tell Your Story

  • Read real accounts from people who have experienced mental health problems or issues, either themselves or as a friend, family member or carer – and find out just how your support can make a difference to their lives. We respect your privacy and we maintain confidentiality.

    Amaka’s Story

    Amaka, (not real name), is a young middle-aged Nigerian lady, of Igbo extraction. Amaka is a graduate from a Nigerian university, married blissfully, as it were, to an equally young adventurous Nigerian man, with whom she has lived abroad for over two decades, a union that produced five kids, all born abroad. Amaka and her very closely-knitted nuclear family were living a life of fulfillment, peace and bliss abroad until the unfortunate happened. How do I mean? With well- paid jobs, both husband and wife took good care of their kids with all sense of parental responsibility, as all the good things of life would avail them in a developed country. Suddenly, without any iota of hindsight, the husband lost his job, no thanks to the economic meltdown that gripped the entire universe years back. The attendance biting hardship snowballed into Amaka’s lot to fend for the family, all from her equally threatened job. This was the beginning of Amaka’s dilemma. Much as the family tried to sustain itself from Amaka’s job earnings, the situation continued to get from worse to worst. Of course, the reality dawned on them, and they had no choice but to relocate back to Nigeria, with all their five kids; if only to lesson their burden from far-away no man’s land. How wrong were they? The relocation, instead of providing a respite, added more to the worsening situation. On arrival in Nigeria, the family first hooked up with one of Amaka’s husband’s bosom friends in Lagos; who could only accommodate them for as long he could contain it, when they were almost becoming a burden to their host nay maintenance of the kids, who were already used to the good things of life, as obtained abroad. As if this was not enough, almost all their personal effects being expected from abroad, upon their relocation, turned futile and were not actually taken delivery of. Invariably, the family started living to beg for money and food to cater for their family, especially the innocent kids, who through no fault of their own found themselves in this deplorable situation. When the situation became increasingly unbearable, Amaka and her five kids had to resettle in her native village, leaving the husband behind in Lagos to source for any income-earning venture which was nowhere in sight. Now back in the village, with her kids, the depression syndrome set in for Amaka, as she withdrew into her shell, avoiding everyone like a plague, all at the detriment of the innocent kids, who were now feeling the pangs of the situation. It was at this juncture that, Amaka’s hubby’s family (allegedly well-to-do enough) moved in swiftly to take all the children from Amaka, leaving only her to sulk, and adding more to her aggravating mentally imbalanced condition vis-a-viz psychological trauma. The barring access to her children, the stigma attached to her wavering deplorable condition after sojourning many years abroad, coming back to live in abject squalor in Nigeria, forcing her to withdraw to her shell and sometimes locking up herself all alone in a room without eating and attending to her personal hygiene. Here is a woman, who used to be comforted with the presence around of her doting kids, only to be left alone in a (wilderness’) sort of. It is therefore to be understood and plainly too that the deprivation of her children by her in-laws must have given a fillip to Amaka’s mental state. It’s about how certain conditions and situations could lead one to a crisis level in mental imbalance. Amaka, after languishing in this deplorable condition for many years upon returning to Nigeria, was to have succor come her way when a Good Samaritan family friend initiated her access to and ultimate rehabilitation in one of the psychiatric hospital where she was been treated. Amaka was able to overcome the already impending and somewhat visible trauma that had occasioned her being. Granted that certain conditions in one’s life could lead to mental imbalance and instability. if help and assistance are sought in good time. Amaka’s case is just one out of many that are quietly suffering out there; while there are help even though, still few, here in Nigeria, that can conveniently and successfully turn around their case’s for the better.

    Today, I can tell you without any fear of contradiction that Amaka is now functioning well after the treatment. she is back with her husband and kids abroad living their hitherto normal life. Thank God, Amaka got help in good time. Who knows, her case may have gotten worse and even made her a recluse, which could probably have led to a suicide attempt. The lesson being taught here is that all mental health challenges, either directly or indirectly caused, are preventable, treatable, manageable and above all curable.


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