Reading Time: 5’ 29” || The Type of Depression No One Talks About – Money Induced Depression
“Although the word is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it”
Depression is not a term Nigerians like to hear or accept. Some call it “the white man’s sickness”, mood swings, bad behaviour or a spiritual disturbance. Yes, a good number of people still believe ancestral spirits and Ogbanje’s have control over them.
I’ll blame Nigeria’s unconcerned attitude towards depression on ignorance. We don’t see depression for what it is, rather we create labels for it. We are experts in choosing to avoid situations because we do not want to face the truth. Always so quick to blame it on spiritual or attitude problems. The common belief is that a little pep talk can shake it off. Or just by being spiritual can save you from it. Depression is labeled as a mood rather than what it is.
Depression is real and anybody can be depressed. At one point in our lives, we might just have faced some form of depression. Because of who we are and what we think we know, we label it as a mood. Some get past it, but others dwell in it until it eats them up.
I have known depression, I have fought depression and I have conquered depression.
Let me tell you about my depression. I like to call it financial depression or money induced depression. And no, it doesn’t mean being in a mood because of being broke. It’s a whole different ball game. Before I go on, I just want you to know that while I suffered this, I had no idea what was wrong with me. I couldn’t give it a name, and even when I tried to talk to people, all I got was the cliche “ don’t worry you’ll be fine” or “ It is well.”
So a couple of months ago, um… I won’t say I was at my lowest financially because I’ve actually been lower LOL. But I just wasn’t doing well and it began to affect me mentally. At first, I thought it was just that regular broke feeling but it grew worse. I started falling sick on a weekly basis, overthinking, starving myself and at some point even nurturing suicidal thoughts. I was literally a hot mess. I’d spend my nights crying and my days thinking and worrying.
Now here’s the plot twist. Reading this, you’ll think I was so broke to the point that I couldn’t feed. Nope! All my basic needs were being provided for me, but still, something was wrong. To be very honest, I don’t know how I got out of that phase; but I’m thankful to the friends who listened to me and helped me get out of it.
Eventually, I figured out somethings that contributed to this money induced depression and that is what I want to share with you all today.
Life’s Big Picture is Overrated
One of my major problems was the big picture I had in my head. There was a plan; I wasn’t where I was supposed to be, and I didn’t have the right amount that should have been in my account based on my life’s calculation. I had tailored my actions to fit just that picture and clearly forgot that life is not a picture, rather, it’s a movie with a constantly changing plot. Sometimes it could be a comedy, thriller, romance, horror, action or even tragedy. I am the actor and each action I take changes the plot. Now whatever scene I find myself in, I am to change that plot and ensure I am still the star of the movie.
Life Is In Stages and There’s No Rush
If you’re reading this, one thing I want you to know is that there’s no rush in life. Everything happens at the appointed time. No matter how strong we claim to be, sometimes we break and things affect us. Especially in this era of social media that has made it seem like everyone is rushing. We all admire someone else’s life, and at some point, we cross the line of admiration and begin to strive to be like the other person. I am ashamed to admit this but I am on this table that I am shaking. I had the basics, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted that dream lifestyle and I wanted it now. I remember crying one day and saying to myself “ you’re even older than Kylie Jenner, what do you have?” Thinking about it now I just want to slap myself. Darling, life is in stages, we are who we are and what we are. Ps. Read my post on why you need a social media detox
Taking Up Unnecessary responsibilities. You can only do what you have the capacity for.
Eyy, stop that! Stop putting pressure on yourself, no one is expecting too much from you, and even if they are, learn to ignore the noise. So, I’m a giver. I love to give, and when I can’t give, it bothers me. One of the reasons for my money induced depression was that I wasn’t doing enough good. I wanted to help all the children in the IDP camps, I wanted to send monthly allowance to my parents, buy my friends gifts and just give. Biko, na who send me message? It was so bad that it began to bother me that I couldn’t offer more than N1,000 as my Sunday offering. Once again I ask, na who send me message? This just goes to say sometimes even for the right and justified reasons, you can fall into depression. This taught me that we should not judge anyone’s depression. It doesn’t matter what got them there, what should matter is how to get them out.
I Lost my purpose in God
First of all, know this. God loves you and cares about your mental health. He doesn’t want you to go into depression, and even if you do, it is not a punishment from Him. Sin doesn’t affect God’s relationship with us. Rather, it affects our relationship with Him. When He looks at us, He sees His best work, His own Image, and His prized possession. Just like everything that was created, we were created with a purpose. It is in our nature to want to fulfill that purpose. The moment you begin to step out of that purpose is when the emptiness comes in. I had lost my way and coupled with everything going on, I went on a downward spiral. This was easy to overcome. God never leaves, He’s always there waiting for us to come back.
I am 23 years old, living on my own in a new city – Abuja. It’s ok if I can’t send money to my parents, or donate in 6 figures, it’s totally fine. My parents are not complaining, they even still want to provide for me. So why was I beating myself up?
All this might sound funny but it wasn’t funny then. Money induced depression is real and is deadly. I thought of taking my own life; It was more than just being broke. I was in a bad place mentally. I’m sharing this because I know there are other young people out there like me who are depressed because of these same reasons and don’t even know it. Some are pushed to do things they regret and I just want to help. I understand what you are going through and I can tell you that it will be better. Let go off all these standards and expectations. Stop being hard on yourself, just be you and understand that we all have our time. There is a plan and a purpose for everyone.
Like I mentioned earlier getting out of this phase was pretty hard for me. Some of the things that helped were talking to trusted friends, understanding the problem and creating a solution strategy. In as much as the problem was more of a mental one, I have started paying more attention to finances and I will definitely share a post on this. In the meantime, you can check out this post I wrote last year when I just became a graduate. Living as a broke graduate; managing, saving and fun.
Ogbanje: An evil spirit that causes misfortune.
Biko: Please in the Igbo language.
Na who send me message?: Pidgin English for “who asked me to do it?”
*Disclaimer: The contents of this post are entirely mine. I got out of this money induced depression without medical help but simply realizing the cause. This does not mean the same process will apply to you. I’ll advise you seek help if you can’t find a solution. Some people don’t even know when they are falling into it. So, if after reading this post and you can relate, then it most likely is money induced depression. Once again, I’m no medical practitioner, if you think you need professional help please go get it. Do not listen to people and don’t be ashamed of seeking help. You are all you’ve got, protect your mental health.
Read this post by my friend Precious. It talks about battling depression and there are scriptural references as well. We Need More Love
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