The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Babatunde Ipaye has said that no fewer than 60 million Nigerians have various degrees of mental disorder.
Ipaye, who made the revelation in Abeokuta in a statement made available to reporters, urged people to always go for regular psychotherapy check-up to detect and manage mental challenges. He said that about 80 per cent of people move about with mental disorder without knowing or seeking help. According to him, between 20 and 25 per cent of Nigerians live with a full-blown mental disorder across the country.
Ipaye added that the cases of mental challenges range from simple minor mood disorder to extreme cases of mental accreditation, stating further that one out of every five Nigerians have an extreme mental disorder.
He identified marital pressure as well as educational and economic pressure as factors that could trigger minor mood disorder that eventually lead to mental illness, adding that other pressures are expectation and disappointment, advocating that community mental home should be created across the country to socially manage mental disorder at the grassroots level.
A medical consultant at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Dr. Olumuyiwa Odunsote agrees with Dr. Ipaye, stating that the figure of 60 million is just one third of the entire Nigerian population and going by the international standards and international definition of mental disorder, the figure is likely to be true.
“In Africa, the end stage of mental illness is when the person has gone out of control, which is what is seen as madness.
“But, internationally, somebody who is still under control can be diagnosed with some level of mental disorder.
“Why this can be true is because a lot of people are depressed, a lot of people undergo severe stress and are highly frustrated in the country.
“Some of these people, in a bid to handle problems, take to drugs, alcohol and exhibit extreme behaviours.”