10 young Nigerians share how parents and social media affect their mental health
At this age, they are either in school, about to graduate, or in their first or second job.
Business Insider reports that young people in the United States are more depressed than ever, going through prolonged periods of losing interest in life and leisure activities.
To find out if this is the case in Nigeria, I spoke with 10 people who live in Lagos, Edo, Ibadan and Osun.
How is your mental health?
A lot of people I spoke to were anxious. However, it also depended on what was happening to them at the time.
Tami (23) got A straight from his exams so he feels happy. “I am excited and hopeful at the moment.”
Chioma (21) feels anxious. “I have social anxiety, as well as general anxiety for life. It interferes with everything I do.”
Demolished (23), who lives alone, feels traumatized by past experiences.
Jeanne (23), who also lives alone, is anxious because of fear of the unknown.
Blessing (25) is also anxious. “I felt so unsure of what was to come next.”
Felicia (21) is depressed because, “I really feel like there is nothing to be excited about.”
BimpÃ© (21) is not sure how she is feeling.
Ayo (23) lives with his parents and wants to grow up faster.
Yomi (27) is also anxious because, “I can’t wait to leave home to start my life.”
Richard (29) feels the same. “My life is still on hold, I haven’t reached my main life goals and I don’t know if I will ever reach them.”
How did your parents contribute to your mental state?
Good or bad parenting affects us even as adults. Our relationship with one of our parents can have a positive or negative impact on our lives.
Tami feels like his parents are contributing to his happiness because they support him and his goals. “I am who I am thanks to God, and to them.”
On the other hand, Chioma believes her father is contributing to her anxiety. “It’s probably a childhood trauma, I haven’t thought about it too much. My dad is verbally abusive. Manipulative.
“I don’t know what words to describe him with. I just tell people he’s mentally ill. Because I think his behavior is due to something.”
Felicia feels traumatized and attributes it to her parents. “I have always been left alone.”
Demola says his parents may be contributing to his depression, but he doesn’t know how.
Bimpe feels that his parents are adding to his anxiety. “Yes, sometimes I feel anxious because of thoughts or their actual reactions to certain issues or phases of my life.”
The effect of social networks on mental health
A lot of young people spend a lot of time on social media these days, logging hours every day on Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, and / or Facebook, and many others.
What effect does this have on them? Do they want to be a different person online?
Tama says, âInstagram has no effect on my sanity. Twitter annoys and annoys me at times. I see ridiculous positions on certain topics that are gaining ground and I find that boring. Also, the herd mentality.â
âI’m almost the same person online, but not quite. “
Chioma says, “There can be mean, callous people on social media. I’m learning to keep scrolling. I’m on and off in real life and on social media.”
Social media doesn’t affect Jane’s sanity, but she isn’t the same online and offline. “I’m exhibiting a happy character online.”
Blessing doesn’t think it affects her too and she’s the same online and offline. âI’m reserved in real life, only really expressive with my real friends. It’s the same with my character online.
“My Instagram, for example, doesn’t reveal much about me, you’ll never really understand me from what I post.”
Ayo says, âRight now I’m good with social media, but there was a time when going on Twitter upset me and just thinking about it made me anxious.
“It was difficult to log in to find that something crazy had happened and people were expressing very disturbing opinions as usual.”
Social media is affecting Bimpe’s mental state. “Sometimes I’m tall, and seeing photos of slimmer people sometimes makes it feel insecure, but it mostly happens when I’m at my lowest.”
All of my respondents want to be successful, but few feel pressured to do so. With the exception of two, the others know what they want to do with their lives.
One of them is Chioma, and her mental health is a major stumbling block.
“That thought scares me. My main focus is on having stable sanity, really.
“Lots of things that I hope for in my future, I would like to be in a good mental position before I get into this.”
Tami is also still figuring it out, but he makes plans along the way.
“Actively seek opportunities. Invest in knowledge acquisition. Pray.”
Manage negative feelings
None of my referees get professional help like therapy, but going out with friends seems like a pretty good substitute for many.
Tama says, “I can deal with it positively or negatively. I deal with it negatively by isolating myself or watching movies excessively, and positively by talking to my friends and not isolating myself.”
Yomi says, “I’m just waiting for the wave to pass. I’m not doing anything in particular.”
Conversations about mental health have become less taboo than in the past.
Fortunately, young people now have access to more resources than previous generations had to deal with their problems.
Whatever the trigger for their negative feelings, they should always explore their options for getting better and improving their life.