Dr. Abdulrasheed Odunola, the Director of the Health Services Unit, University of Ilorin, has advised Nigerians to always seek prompt medical attention in order to check depression.
Odunola gave the advice in a paper he presented on the “Causes of depression and its preventive measures” at a send-off organised by the Faculty of Physical Sciences in honour of some of its former staff members on Monday in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.
He described depression as a health challenge that could arise as a result of genetic, environmental and social causes.
According to him, “depression is a mental illness that causes a feeling of sadness, loss of interest, loss of drive, energy, motivation and appetite, among others.
Odunola also described depression as the occurrence of behavioural irritation, hallucination, withdrawal, loss of appetite, cognitive impairment, insomnia and energy reduction.
He said that because the phenomenon was not widely recognised as a health challenge in Africa, people hardly bothered to go for diagnosis as obtained in developed nations.
He underscored the need for people “to be conscious of it and seek medical attention as soon as possible, whenever the need arises.”
Odunola said available statistics proved that at least 15 per cent of adults in Nigeria suffered from depression yearly, adding that women were at greater risk than men.
Earlier, the Dean, Faculty of Physical Sciences, Prof. Abdulwahid Adekola, advised the members of staff to sustain their good work and remain diligent in their duties.