There’s too much stigma in Nigeria and in so many societies on the African continent. We stigmatize everything. You know, one of the blessings of my life is that I do not respect stigma. I remember the first time I was going to see a therapist—the first time I talked about having Tourette’s syndrome. The first time I talked about anything, you know, or just living my life as a single man at 39, just all kinds of things that people say are taboo, that you don’t do like this or like that, so these people don’t see you like this. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand it. And it’s frustrating for me because the more I talk to people, the more I interview people, and the more I see people not getting help because they are afraid of being stigmatized.
Why is the stigma in a person seeing a psychiatrist when they have a mental health problem? Why is it stigmatized? Why is it stigmatized if a person has, as they say, lost their minds? Why is it stigmatized? Even if the person ran out of their house naked in the morning because they had lost their minds, why should that be a cause for stigma? Why isn’t that a cause for empathy, for support, for love, for care? What is wrong with us as a people that we find such a need to label, exclude, and delegitimize? What is it about us?
And to all women and mothers who are suffering from postpartum depression, you are not alone, and you can get the help that you need. There’s nothing wrong with getting help.
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