Pressure, family/relationship problem, other causes of doctors’ depression

Family issues, relationship problems, job demands and public expectations can put much pressure on medical doctors and push them into depression, an expert has said.

A Consultant Neuro-psychiatrist, Dr Maymunah Kadiri, made the observation on Thursday in Lagos in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“The truth is that doctors are under a lot of pressure.

“Sadly, we are having some doctors taking their lives because we, the people, judge and tell them that, as doctors, they are not supposed to be weak.

“Some doctors are dealing with mental illness just like any other person,” Kadiri, the Medical Director of a Lagos-based hospital, Pinnacle Medical Services, said.

She was reacting to recent cases of depression and suicide among health workers including doctors.

A 45-year-old Nigerian medical doctor, Henry Bello, on June 30 barged into the Bronx Lebanon Hospital Centre, New York, U.S. with a rifle, killing one person and injuring six.

The New York Police Department said Bello also shot himself dead.

Also, a Lagos-based medical doctor, Allwell Orji, had on March 19 jumped into a Lagos lagoon to end his life.

Kadiri advised doctors not to succumb to pressure of life but seek help when in need.

“Try as much as possible to get people to help you; learn to get help from colleagues, friends and other people.

“Being a physician is already a lot of pressure but do not give in to pressure,” she said.

She also urged members of the public to have positive attitudes toward challenges, especially during economic crisis.

“How you respond to challenges makes or breaks you.

“We should find out which of the stressors we are having are not healthy for us.

“Also, eat healthy foods, including much fruits and vegetables, and always exercise to reduce stress,” Kadiri said.

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