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Fola Daniel Adelesi: Avoiding The Pit of Depression



I understand that life can be really tough. When you look around you may not understand why things are not going your way. Just as things are not turning out the way you want them, there are those other people who are making life more difficult for you. Unfortunately, some of them are people you are so close to and others could be family members or spouses.

You can look at other people and it seems as though you are the only one who has issues. The others have smiles on their faces and they just go about their businesses easily. You seem to have a trail of troubles to clean up. You have tried really hard to figure it out but nothing is adding up and the pieces are just not coming together.

There were times in my own life when I would sigh repeatedly when in the room. It became so obvious that my wife got scared at some point and raised concerns. It may be easy to become depressed when you think about the situation around you. Maybe you are a family man or woman and the bills are piling up but you have no idea how to clear them.

You have children to take care of but you just can guarantee their meals the next day. It could also be that someone has hurt you so much that you find it hard to pull out of the memory. Have you just lost your job? Does it look like you have to deal with a harsh reality in the coming weeks or months?

It is well understood that your pending expectations can cause depression. You want a wife but you have not found one or don’t have enough money to marry yet. Maybe you don’t even have a job. You want a husband it just looks like all the right guys pass you buy and say nothing. In fact, if a guy says ‘good morning’ to you right now you will nearly say ‘yes! I do.’

 Whatever it is that weighs you down is something you can overcome. Yes, you can! It may be tough that you were denied a visa. It can be difficult to see that all efforts to travel abroad just prove abortive. You have tried to start a business but the environment seems harsh. You just can raise enough money to do the business right and be on your own.

One would have thought that if business will not work then you can go and get a job. You start job hunting with the hope that you are competent to get a job in some industries and you suddenly realize that the job is also not coming. It just looks right to become depressed but you should never do that.

When depression sets it, some people want to sleep it away. Some try to eat it away or even drink it away. This always leaves you with another problem totally different from the one you are running away from.

If you recline into depression you will eventually find out that depression will destroy much more than you can imagine. In may be one thing that dragged you into it but when you are in it, depression will drag everything in your life into that mode.

How are you to stay away from it or to get out of it if you are in it already? You can try the following:

Understand that life comes in phases and this is a phase that you will get out of.

Read the inspiring stories of other people. This will help you to stay away from or get out of depression

Listen to inspirational songs and affirm those words to yourself. I personally like to listen to Panam Percy Paul’s ‘Don’t give up’ and R. Kelly’s ‘I’m the world’s greatest.’ I listen to songs like ‘I almost let go’ or ‘you haven’t seen the best of me by a young man called Pita.

Listen to inspirational speakers who know what they are saying. I’m talking about those who have gone through the tough times and not those who read up what to tell you.

Be in the midst of cheerful people. It pays to be among those who can keep your mood up naturally. Staying alone makes it easy to switch into depression. Even God says ‘it is not good for man to be alone.’

You have to stay positive and look on the brighter side of life. You can only look back into your past and be depressed. If you look into your future there is always something to be hopeful for.

You are also a better person and you can build healthy relationships only when you stay away from depression. We need you around and we want you in the best frame of mind. Remember, this is just a phase and this too shall pass.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Hongqi Zhang –  Michael Zhang

Fola Daniel Adelesi (also Fola Daniel Speaks) is a Professional Public Speaker, Learning & Development Expert, Communications Professional, and an author of more than 13 books. He's a highly engaging training facilitator who holds his audience spellbound when speaking at gatherings. Apart from his several platforms which include banks, insurance companies, and religious organizations, he has been part of some national television shows and he spoke so intelligently. Some of his published books include: - Get Up and Hit That Goal - Basic Skills for Outstanding Leadership - Breaking Grounds Despite Backgrounds - Writing Business Proposals - Indebted to Ignorance He's also a highly skilled master of ceremony with excellent poise and diction who is endeared to many corporate clients. He was on the Debaters TV reality show Season 1, he presented 'You Can' on Radio Continental in 2011 and he did motivational segments on Galaxy Television from Dec. 2008 to August 2009. He currently features consistently on Channels Television and Television Continental, two of the leading TV stations in Nigeria to discuss national and youth issues. He keeps a vlog at and his books are available on or


  1. K

    August 28, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Thanks for this piece.
    I’m just recovering from a terrible heart break. My BF of 3yrs who was scared to settle down suddenly hard the balls to do so barely year I took the bull by the horn and called it quits with him until he was man enough to take a bold step and come meet my parents.
    The guy got married some weeks back to another girl and I have been heartbroken like “so he suddenly grew balls ehn in less than one year”
    thank God for family and good friends, i almost went into depression after investing 3yrs of my life,time,finance,emotions in that relationship. The only thing that keeps consoling me is the word of God and the the thought that “he is not my husband if not this wouldnt have happened”
    I’m gradually recovering and by God’s grace I will be perfectly ok.

  2. TheAbiribaChic

    August 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you so much Fola Daniel Adelesi for this write up, it was a re-assuring one both for me and a really dear friend.
    Thank you BellaNaija for posting…
    and …
    Thank God for the life, functional eyes and brains He gave me to read and comprehend this inspiring piece.


  3. ndi

    August 28, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Being trying for another baby. but just today, my period just showed up! i feel really bad.

    • Virtuous woman

      August 28, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Been trying to have another baby, this says that you have had atleast one. You shouldn’t feel bad but grateful- there are millions of people that have not had any atall and yet they are still believing God with a good attitude. Feeling bad and despondent will not hasten or help the pregnancy you are trying for rather it will affect you negatively. On the contrary, a positive thanksgiving attitude will multiply the one in your hand. It might be hard for you, but make a conscious effort to just thank God for the blessings in your life and forget about asking for anything atall, if you can do this consistently you will be surprised at how soon you will get what you are looking for. I am telling you something I have tried personally and it worked.

    • koin

      August 28, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      My dear Ndi,

      The Lord makes all things perfect in his time! Take your mind of it and just Live! The Lord will surprise you when you least expect it. By virtue of Matthew 18:19, I agree with you today that you shall conceive. Throughout your pregnancy you shall be in good health and so shall it be for the child you shall carry. It is well with you.

    • Wealthy One

      August 28, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      Hi Ndi, relax, do a detox, jog for a few weeks, do a fast to God, read supernatural bchild birth book, it cost #800, confessing Gods word. And sow seeds and be very strong on your belief. If there is a vigil in your church attend it. Gods grace is available but if you want it so badly these are my opinion.
      God is more than able dear. Talking from experience. I’m a proud mum now. All glory to Jesus Christ our Lord.

    • Fola Daniel Adelesi

      August 28, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      Hello Ndi, I do hope you’ll come back to read this comment. I believe in prayers and want to pray that before the end of this year, you will be carrying the seed for that baby. So shall t be in Jesus name.

    • .....

      August 28, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      You should be happy you have one. Am here begging God for one. Lately I have been having Suicidal tendencies. But I have given myself a deadline sha!

    • slice

      August 28, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      what exactly have you given yourself a deadline for biko nu. don’t do anything final o.
      what have you tried in this baby making journey. have you tried IVF yet?

    • Virtuous woman

      August 29, 2014 at 9:46 am

      My dear, don’t lose hope, all will be well. For to him that is joined with all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. Eccl 9:4. Don’t despair and don’t be offended in God- there is no need to give Him an ultimatum, He knows best and will give you at His own appointed time. There is also no need to give yourself an ultimatum, it doesn’t help you in anyway. It is well already, just thank God and you will see the manifestation.

    • Lindsey

      August 29, 2014 at 12:24 am

      My sister has been married 8 yrs and lost 4 pregnancies. Count your blessing ok? #sideeye

  4. xomarrh

    August 28, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    tnx 4 ds encouraging writeup s lyk you have jst lifted smtn heavy frm my mind

  5. Evensef

    August 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    @Ndi, it will SURELY come to pass. it is not yet time. relax and hope in God (((((hugs)))))))

  6. Grown Woman

    August 28, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    i Believe sometimes,tragedy has a better way of producing positive outcomes.Whatever challenge you are going through, it won’t be permanent.As one of the BN commenter once said “What is life without a little hurt or pain to make us grow.Time heals everything.It is well in Jesus name.

  7. presh

    August 28, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you fola this is exactly what i need right now,,,wewww i am relived

  8. wunmi

    August 28, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Thank you so much Mr. Adelesi, I always enjoy your write ups. This is also a very good choice of topic. Just yesterday, on my way to work I saw a banner at the iyana ejigbo local health center advertising a seminar on depression during & after pregnancy. I was really impressed although it was for pregnant women & nursing mothers Its still a good start.There are hardly diagnosis of depression in this part of the world because for us it is a white man’s disease or it just isn’t a sickness; its more for us a state of mind and people even consider it normal to feel disillusioned at some point in our lives.The fact however is that depression is an illness; it is real and even more prevalent in this day & time and I hope that the tragedy of Oscar winning actor and Comedian; Robin William’s suicide prompts a much needed open dialogue about depression. Meanwhile I’m sending K and ndi e-hugs, all will be well dearies

  9. yemisi

    August 28, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    @ndi, be thankful to God that you even have one, plenty people dont even have at alll. Good write up really needed this now,

  10. Olu

    August 28, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you for this. However I would like to add that depression unlike sadness, or stress is a clinical illness that needs assessment and treatment. Everyone experiences hardships at some point in their lives .we all have coping strategies for these events , a person with depression can not cope and things just spiral out of control. People with depression are very good at camouflaging their symptoms, so the person with all the jokes and who we consider the life of the party may actually be clinically depressed. Assessment is key to accurate diagnosis . stress and life events can trigger depression. sadness is a normal reaction for things like losing a job, partner, being lonely. A depressed person may not react normally to these because of the chemical imbalance in the brain. My point is Stress, sadness are normal reactions to everyday events. Depression could be life threatening if not treated. People tend to down play depression comparing it to sadness and I think that’s were problems arise.

  11. XteriAyaoba

    August 28, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I battled depression and hit my lowest a couple of years back. To be honest, i don’t wish to ever get back to that dark place. your entire world comes to a stand still and you totally cannot see beyond where you are at that point in time. Nigeria being a country that doesn’t recognize depression as an illness makes it very difficult to get help. most people cannot discern the symptoms, even family member just wonder and eventually give you ‘the space’ they think you are asking for.

    With the help of my praying mum and very extroverted twin sis i sailed through that phase. Now am more mature both spiritually and intellectually, I fully understand that nothing lasts forever. no situation stays permanent especially when you are making efforts to change it, the change would definitely come no matter how long it takes. I have developed a VERY POSITIVE outlook to life. When the storms come, i prayerfully brace myself and say’This too shall pass”…. guess what??? it always does!

    Thanks Fola for writing about this topic that Nigerians mostly feel is foreign to us.

  12. Blescin

    August 28, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    When I can’t cope, Jesus gives me hope…I struggle with depression all the time…Just turned 21 on d 18th of Aug…praying for a depression free year….Tnks for this post

    • aj

      August 29, 2014 at 5:14 pm

      happy belated birthday my fellow leo lady. girl you are too young to be depressed.

  13. Laide

    August 28, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    I am. to I. Anyway condemn g the writer of this article but there are. Few things I would like to point out. firstly Bella Naija team please be careful I. The articles you publish particularly about mental health to avoid misleading people. in the Nigerian society mental health is so misunderstood and many suffer in silence.
    firstly it is important to make a differenciating between feeling down and actual depression. a lot of the suggestion in this article will work to lift the mood of someone that is feeling down, but will not work for some one with depression. depression is a health problem and need to be treated as such. The writer says “When depression sets it, some people want to sleep it away. Some try to eat it away or even drink it away. This always leaves you with another problem totally different from the one you are running away from.”
    In actual fact a person with depression manifest the in a totally different way, one of the key features of depression is lack or inability to sleep, lack of appetite and lack of interest in things they previously enjoyed doing. Depression requires treatment be a specialist not a pep talk by a motivational speaker. Until the. We will unfortunately continue to have people suffer in silence or worse still comity suicide. The reason why we keep hearing about suicide in Nigeria is because people have no one to turn. bella naija stop misinforming people with your articles


      August 28, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      quite the contrary everyones deals with depression differently some poeple actually do eat a lot drowing their sorrows in food.

    • laide

      August 28, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      pls oo I am the only laide on

  14. sweety

    August 28, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    “This is just a phase and this too shall pass”
    AMEN. tnx writer.

  15. .com

    August 28, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you Fola for this write up. Even the strongest of us gets discouraged when things don’t go our way. This is really encouraging and motivating.

  16. Lala

    August 28, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    People who are depressed don’t know they are ill, it is close family members and friends that get concerned by their irrational behaviour. Be thankful if you can recognise that you are feeling down. It means your faculties are working very well and then your natural protective instincts will set in to help you overcome. People who are clinically depressed may need medication to correct their condition.

    • bee

      August 29, 2014 at 2:21 am

      You are very spot on. My sister is going thru depression right now. She is threatening to sue evry1 in d family cos we toook her to get assessment and help. It takes God grace nt to lose patience.

    • bee

      August 29, 2014 at 2:24 am

      **God’s grace*****


    August 28, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    very well written and if i may add exercise helps also. it will pass in jesus name amen.

  18. Annie

    August 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    ‘@K. from the first comment, loads of hugs. i know how it feels. I agree with you that he was not your husband. When your husband comes, you ll say, no wonder it happened that way. continue to lift your head high girl, ur mr right is seriously looking for you right now.

  19. Lala

    August 28, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Christ wants use to be proactive and actively seek out ways to help ourselves. That includes embracing scientific evidence based practice. Non of this armchair Christ will help or half baked self help books. Take yourself to hospital get diagnosed and treated. From the gospel a stitch in time saves nine and as implied by Matthew, Mark, Luke and brother john.

  20. Person

    August 28, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    BN, depression is a MENTAL illness. It is not ‘this too shall pass’. It requires cogent MEDICAL treatment by MENTAL HEALTH professionals, not a pep talk. I have been lucky because my brother is a psychiatrist; he was the first person to point out that I may be predisposed to depression and he has been managing my case since then. Don’t trivialize depression as something you can just shake off.

  21. Maicool

    August 28, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    This just came at the right time…i know i will overcome all… hubby dat has been by my side all this yrs that none of the family memeber liked me suddenly changed cos i said the sick mum shld not come to stay in my house rather he shld stay at the daughter’s place them he will provide money for them…..they showed him wickness during their father’s burial,none of them help both in kind and cash and the mother supported dem,wen the kingsmen called for peace the mum said noooo…. wen i arrived for the burial,greeted the mum she didnt respond rather she said ”nwanyi owerri u don come”…..but last son’s girl friend she reconginze as a daughther inlaw….my hubby forgot all that so soon…..was donwcasted but reading this article am lifted in the spirit….with this word…what is life with out a little hurt or pain to make us grow

    • Lala

      August 28, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      Darlin that is domestic violence also referred to as intimate family abuse. It comes in different forms including emotional abuse. You are angry and rightfully so for being under minded in your marriage. It is not depression your emotions are normal it is your husband and family that need to change not you. You are not mentally ill, you are just a victim of cultural /religious condoned domestic abuse.

  22. Tina

    August 28, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks very much Mr fola,but i also agree with Laide,here in Europe its not easy,lots of Nigerians are suffering from depression me inclusive.
    My friend’s husband committed suicide last year because he couldn’t meet up taking care of his own family here and those in Nigeria,he was under so much pressure that the only way to end it all to him was suicide.
    As Nigerians we feel ashamed to seek or ask for help because to we it is not part of our culture,please brothers and sisters if there is any sigh of depression seek for help.
    Am happy that some of us are getting help to heal from depression,its still a long journey but i know for sure i will win maybe not so soon and my hope is to OVERCOME depression.

  23. Fola Daniel Adelesi

    August 28, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    To all those arguing that depression is ‘strictly a clinical illness’ I want to agree to a point but that is looking at it from only one perspective. It’s like the proverbs of different people who were blindfolded and asked to touch parts of the elephant. When it was time for them to give names, they all gave different names, yet they were all right because they defined the elephant by the part of the body they touched.

    • nomad

      August 28, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      this makes zero sense.

      There’s clinical depression and there’s the “blues” that almost everyone goes through at one period in time. I’ve had periods where I’ve been depressed or downcast or discouraged but for the most part, it’s temporary and part of the high and lows that characterise life and not something that defines my brain chemistry. For most people, your tips may be helpful but for a substantial minority, seeking clinical help is necessary.

      Please don’t trivialise clinical depression. It’s serious and something seriously misunderstood in Nigeria. I have friends who manage to live a healthy and productive life while suffering depression with the help of medication and I’ve SEEN firsthand the difference getting the right regimen does for them. It’s not something you can just “pray” away the same way you can “pray” away cancer or AIDS

    • Person

      August 29, 2014 at 5:37 am

      You are confusing DEPRESSION with feeling down. Stop perpetuating ignorance with this BS you are spouting. This is not the proverbial elephant. You think people that are depresses just ‘need to get over it’? To shake it off? smh.

      BellaNaija, please DO BETTER. DO BETTER. At least, there is a Dr. Craig here, no? What is the point of perpetuating ignorance in the name of ‘motivation’? Is it for clicks/pageviews? You need to do better than this. I’ve been reading this site from blog days, but these days, what you promote for pageviews gives me cause for concern- from overt cyberbullying to perpetuating ignorance. DO BETTER!

    • Ife

      August 29, 2014 at 7:51 am

      Depression is a disease that affects a major organ in the body , the brain. Depression is not a WORD you can use instead of sadness. People don’t go around calling malaria, cancer. people need to understand that depression like other illnesses needs to be diagnosed and treated. I am a Christian and believe the church is not a diagnostic centre. People suffering from depression in addition to medical treatment could benefit from the support of the church, family and friends. Your article is flawed as it does not give a holistic picture of depression, like you have correctly identified in your elephant and blind men analogy. It is good practice to put up a disclaimer when giving your PERSONAL opinion on serious issues, as I assume you did not set out to intentionally mislead people. Thankfully a few bella readers have helped you out there.

  24. Peye

    August 28, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Been a medical person we were taught the depression is a solely clinical thing. however, like many other psychiatric conditions there are many things that are not understood. why do some people respond to medications and some dont respond so well, some don’t even respond at all.
    When I was rotating through psychiatry in school, my supervising consultant told us there are only 150 psychiatrists available to our over 160 million population, so you can see why people miss this diagnosis. Besides, its rotation in our schools is what is called in some schools a “minor posting”.
    At work i think clinically but at home, I think more spiritually. listening to depressed patients talk, you can know that there’s a demon sitting on their shoulders just that at work, you talk medication and drugs and you need good consent to talk spiritual with people. my conclusion is that those spirits went to cause the neurones to misfire, secreting hormones in the most disorderly manner and what the drugs try to do isn’t to get the demon off but try to rearrange what it is scattering. the real solution is to get that dirty thing off the mind of the patient but Psychiatry isn’t spiritism, you can only help people so far.
    I did a post on depression majorly from the clinical perspective and you can check it out here

  25. enigma

    August 29, 2014 at 1:12 am

    it just feels like i have the biggest problems.feels like thrre is no wqy out for me.right now there is this blank feeling i cant shake off.everthibg looks against me.feels like its a punishment nevrr felt more useless.cant talk to anyone.tried to but been dismissed as inconsequential,

  26. Dee

    August 29, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Depression is a really serious issue, working has a clinical social worker in a hospital in DC I see so many people suffering from depression and I have also seen Africans who are battling with depression. There is a negative stigma associated with Mental illness in African culture, and I just wish more Africans can be open to seeking professional help. I myself have gone through a lot after 2 miscarriages within 7 months. I won’t say I was depressed because Have seen people attempt suicide cos I work in a Hospital with an inpatient psych. I do cry when I think of my first miscarriage cos I was in my second trimester. Also I had wonderful suport system through my miscarriages. People with depression are hopeless, low energy and sad, I was not all that cos I’m hopeful that I will get pregnant. Also, I’m grateful that I can even get pregnant because I know people that have not gotten pregnant. Another issue too that I have seen a lot is postpartum depression with women who have just given birth mehn that was scary.

  27. ndi

    August 29, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Although I have been believing God for the past five years, had a miscarriage this year but I strongly believe that it is well. I have chosen to be thankful. Thank you all for your prayers and advice. I really appreciate. God be with you all.

  28. Nneka Ebele

    September 1, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Depression is a very serious illness and must not be taken lightly. I don’t wish it to anyone that I hate let alone my loved ones. We just pray that we are able to overcome it when it seems like what we are going through has no solution.

  29. R.A.

    September 4, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Alhamd lillah (All praise to God, The One and Only) is what I have to say. Yours was assuring. A friend went into depression after she new she had to eventually start medication for a health condition – the bill was high. Who was there to turn to? She was also coping with other health conditions – one person, 4 major ailments. Her salary couldn’t support the treatment, she went borrowing – she took a loan to sustain herself. She had unsettled issues with her spouse, pressure from work too. It was over bearing, gradually she slipped into depression almost to the point of a stroke on the left side of the body. It took medical intervention, concern from some family members (who gave support and some money) and faith in God to for her to gradually come round. Thank God for everything.

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