Nse Ikpe-Etim on Dealing With Depression and Raising Kids

Nse Ikpe-Etim has been in the news in recent times and for the RIGHT reasons too. She recently  opened up about having hysterectomy and the attendant emotional and psychological consequences.

In a bare it all interview with BellaNaija, she shares some tips for dealing with depression and raising kids.

On Dealing with Depression, she said:

You have to talk to someone. You don’t wish it away. You need to talk to someone.

You know, sometimes, it’s easier to talk to people that don’t know you. They’re not judgemental.

It’s always best to seek out a professional. They know how to deal with it.

People are actually beginning to understand that depression does exist…. Because there’s been a string of suicides. We shouldn’t be reactive. We should be proactive and the only way to be proactive is to talk about things and once you do that, it won’t be a case of “I never knew, I never heard about it”. It’d be a case of “I heard it, I chose not to listen”.

Sometimes, our friends do things that are a cry for help but we don’t just know. Someone just goes off, and never talk to you for years, it’s a cry for help. Seek them. I’ve been through that. You just lock up and say nothing. And the mind can create and recreate all kinds of things in that time and that needs a different kind of strength to get out of, even when talking to someone.

It’s not a case of “it is well”. It’s not really well. You need to talk to someone about it.

On Raising Kids, she said:

I think people need to start the conversation with their kids at an early age. You need to tell the boys that you don’t need breasts to wash your plates. Wash your plates. Because you’re going to ask the girl child to wash her plate. Now you put so much pressure on the girl child and she gets out and he’s waiting for a girl to wash his plates. And tomorrow, if the girl doesn’t wash the plates, then he says “you’re rude” and would probably raise his hand and strike her. That’s how it starts.

If you tell the child, “both of you are equal,” they’d learn!

There’s so much pressure on the boy child: “you’re a man. you cannot cry.” He’s a child. He’s got feelings. He’s in touch with humanity. He can cry! And you put so much pressure on him. That on its own, is demoralising!

And then you do the same for the girl child: “You have to be a good wife. You have to be this”. “Okay Daddy and Mummy. Can I live?!

So, the conversation starts from when people have children. You expose the kids to what life should be and not what cultures and traditions have bound us by.

We will change the narrative, we will start the discourse, we will have conversations. That’s what should matter.

Full article here

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