Dr Olabode Shabi, Chairman of the Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria, (SFPN) A medical consultant has said that about seven million Nigerians are currently suffering from mental health problems associated with stress and depression.
Dr Olabode described stress as an exaggeration of normal physical response to events and life challenges that makes a person feel threatened or upset in some ways.
In his presentation titled ‘’Stress and Depression in Workplace: Strategic approach to management.’’ Shabi said that depression is a common mental health problem affecting 29 million in Africa out of an estimated 322 million people worldwide.
The question is, Why do stress levels keep on rising in our present generation?
Back in the 20th-century, technology was advancing at a rapid pace and people began looking forward to a time where machines will do the work and they won’t have to do stressful tasks on their own.
People were ecstatic at the thought that wonderful creations were being manufactured to make life happier and less stressful.
Fast tracking to the 21st century where technology has advanced so much, I still see many Nigerians stressed out trying to make ends meet in their everyday lives. Jobs are disappearing and financial markets are less reliable.
But why do Nigerians still experience high-stress levels?
Why are we more stressed than people in the 20th century?
Medical practitioners have studied the complexities of human behaviour and here in this post, I try to summarize some of their findings on the raising stress levels.
1. Reduced Time For Relaxation and Enjoyment
We are spending less time to relax and take our minds away from work. According to statistical data most individuals in our modern society associate stress with taking care of children and household activities. There is, however, no difference between the time we spend with our families and the time people living in the early 1900’s did spend with their families. They, however, had lesser stress levels than us, the question here is why?
This is because we use the spare time we have gained from the improvement in technology to do activities which we do not consider as relaxing or enjoyable.
As advancement in technology aids us in completing complex tasks, we should use our spare time to do things we do not consider as being relaxing. Reading a book, meditating on a beach, taking a walk, etc. For more on Health benefit of Relaxation Click Here
2. Stress Agents are Abundant
It is normal for most of us to stress as a result of the workload at our place of work. A few of us go home after work and are lucky enough to engage in activities that help us de-stress. However, this is not the case for most of us.
For many, they feel the same level of stress at work and at home.
Nigerians are stress, interestingly it is not different abroad. So many Americans also suffer from stress. Statistically, about 60% of adults in the US suffer from stress-related issues. This means that more than 50% of adults in the US experience equal stress levels and they no longer have stress free experience at home or at work.
3. Unhealthy Societal Standards.
Gender inequality still persists in our workplace.
Independent Women are still considered undesirable and also men who are not self-dependent are considered lazy and incapable of demonstrating professional character.
Consequently, competition between these two genders become unhealthy and this can make the workplace very stressful.
4. Chronic Overwork
Many people complain of insufficient time to complete their work. To compensate for the scarcity of time, most people resort to overworking.
They, therefore, overwork themselves until they burn out completely due to the stressful activities found in the working environment.
Everything has changed, forget about the 80’s and 90’s. Divorce and Separation are on the Rise in Nigeria. Which is probably one of the saddest statistics on Nigeria.
This leaves a whole lot of work to a single parent who has to cater to the needs of the family.
This fragmentation is so stressful were the single parent spends the free time from work taking care of the children.