World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. According to reports, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has killed up to 1.5million people in Nigeria.
Kemi Olunloyo who is suffering from post traumatic stress was on YourView TVC yesterday 10th October, where she spoke on Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a mental health condition that has to do with a flashback of traumatic events in your life.
Speaking from her experience, she said some incidences in her past and the prison episode led to her diagnosis. Kemi explained that she had a 7 degree burn on her entire face in 1984 in a chemistry lab accident. She also recalled ‘Alimo school riot’ in 1978 where she was attacked and striped naked on Ikorodu road but was rescued by some people.
“As a result of these experiences you can’t sleep, you can’t eat, you are in fear, you are suicidal”, she said.
In response to Morayo’s question on if there are hospitals in Nigeria that can help people with PTSD, Kemi reiterated that the mental health system in Nigeria exists, but what we want the government to do is to help people in Nigeria to get help, if they don’t get help, they are not going to get better. She added that there are lots of people with this stigma that are scared to get help because they feel people will think they are crazy or mad but she thinks the government can help them.
On signs or symptoms of PTSD, she said the main symptom is fight or flight (run). Some may also include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
On helping and encouraging people with PTSD to come out and get help, Kemi stated that public figures, celebrities, politicians, media personalities should go out and do talks, seminars everywhere to sensitize people on PTSD.
On prevention or protection from PTSD, Kemi Olunloyo advised that parents should speak to their children about sadness.
“If you have a child addicted to tramadol, codeine, weed etc,talk to them as that can impair them, also, prevent your children from using drugs, educate them on it. If there are people in your family who have been through deaths, attacks, kidnaps etc, take them to the psychiatric HOME, psychotherapist and psychologist to get mental help.”
Watch full video below: