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Ex-Beauty Queen Karen Young shares her Battle with Depression & how she Survived

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Karen Young

Many celebrities and fans reached out to the Baloguns yesterday after Tee Billz broke down on social media (click here if you missed it) and now, ex-beauty queen, Journalist & Author Karen Eloke Young has done the same.

She shared how hard it has been for her as a young and single girl in the city of Lagos especially in terms of sorting out accommodation issues and the advances that come her way. She shared her story via Twitter on how she has had to cope with sexual harassment in different places because that is what people expect from beauty queens.

Yesterday, the ex-beauty queen shared her personal experience with depression via Twitter and advised people to reach out to her. Here’s what she had to say:

BellaNaijarians, depression is real, even in Nigeria. If you need help, reach out. Don’t keep it in till it’s too late! 

Photo Credit: Instagram/Karen Young

45 Comments

  1. Doughmoney

    April 29, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    She’s such a beauty! People would see me and think I have it all. I’ll admit I have mood swings and have suicidal thoughts sometimes when I’m not happy and at the same time I know my parents would be really sad if I did such. No matter the number achievements , depression is real. I have anxiety and worry a lot sometimes and it’s so draining!!!! God help us all!! We are human after all with emotions x

    • Dr

      April 29, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      I know what you mean. I denied my feelings of depression until I started having thoughts of jumping off a bridge. It was then it struck me that this was not normal sadness. I got help, both medication and therapy. My close friends are also very supportive. I am glad I sought help. Life is short to live in the dungeons of darkness and despair. There is a solution and you owe it to yourself to get help.

  2. zee

    April 29, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Its soooo sad dat most ppl laugh at wat others are going thru n brush dem off like its nothing. I pray dat every1 goin thru depression wil find d help dey need to survive.

  3. samsong

    April 29, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Depresssion is real and it’s not location based. We all should find happiness in what we do. There are several issues in the world that could cause depression. I’ll advice we all find help whenever we sense depression. – tnlounge.com

  4. Josephine

    April 29, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Karen, you are a survivor. I’m glad you’re alive to tell the tale and help others. Please, I need to know more. Where does it stop being a sad/ bad mood and become a mental illness? Does the mental illness grow from the bad mood (from sad events or set backs in life) or is it from sudden hormonal changes in the brain? I’m asking to see if my view is too narrow. I know about post-natal depression where such a happy event can trigger hormones in a mother’s brain that make her think her baby is better off dead or that she should die because the baby is better off without her. When Robin Williams died I read that those who commit suicide are not being selfish. They genuinely believe that their loved ones are better off if they’re dead. They quietly plan and make sure they die. Its not about them being selfish and leaving people behind. They believe they’ve done those people the ultimate favour. Can you imagine the torment? Could a bad break-up or losing a job turn into this?

    • Dr Osaz

      April 29, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Josephine. May I offer to answer your question from an expert’s view.
      Here are the common symptoms of depression:
      – Sadness or depressed mood most of the day or almost every day
      – Loss of enjoyment in things that were once pleasurable
      – Major change in appetite or weight (gain or loss of more than 5% of weight within a month)
      – Insomnia or excessive sleep almost every day
      – Physical restlessness or sense of being rundown that is noticeable by others
      – Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
      – Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness or excessive guilt almost every day
      – Problems with concentration or making decisions almost every day
      – Recurring thoughts of death or suicide, suicide plan, or suicide attempt

      However, to be diagnosed with major depression (different from episode of sadness or low mod), the patient must have at least five of the symptoms listed above with at least one of the first two nearly daily for at least two weeks.

      Hope this clarifies it.

      PS (To all BNers):
      Please, please, and please, if anyone you know falls into this category, DON’T push him/her to the church/mosque (I’ve handled too many cases worsened by the ignorance of religious bodies), send them to a doctor so he/she can be referred to a Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist (both medications and therapy plus social support are key to recovery).
      And please, don’t join the bandwagon of saying to depression patients “get a grip on your mind- it’s utterly wrong. Do you say to Prostate/breast cancer patients, get a grip on your breast/prostate? No! You simply send them to a doctor.” Depression is a disease, let’s start treating it as such. God bless.

    • Nene

      April 29, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      Actually believing in God and getting closer to your faith, and having a supportive family or friend helps with depression. It helped me and a lot of other people I know. Psychiatry and anti depressants made me more depressed and almost broke because I can’t open up to strangers. That was one of the major reasons I moved back to Nigeria, to be around my family.

    • Josephine

      April 29, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      Thank you, Dr Osaz. I’ve advised someone to talk to their Pastor before so I’m one of the guilty ones. I thought bad events can make you feel down but not clinically depressed and suicidal.

    • Hi

      April 29, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      Dr OSAZ please can depression be cured?

  5. Kay

    April 29, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Oh wow! Where is Sally Iriri

  6. Oyin

    April 29, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Depression can be triggered by a lot of things. I.e breakup, loss of job, anxiety..We as a society definitely need to get more educated on this issue.

    • 'Deola

      April 29, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      My thesis is this: city life and the breaking of extended family system into nuclear families is one of the many factors that cause depression. The loss of our natural world: the chirping birds, the meowing of cats, the crowing of roosters ; and the increasing digitized world of social media, the concrete jungles we inhabit, long stretches of highways, and the low prospects of jobs in an economy with a high rate of unemployment explain the hopelessness and helplessness that take many to really dark places.

      Many are sick without knowing it. The society is sick. The nation is sick. Diaspora returnees who go back home are more sensitive to the calamity we are enveloped with nationwide. The messages that a plummeting naira sends and the vibes failure represents are enough to make one mad. From the lady that melts down over Hermes, abi wetin you call am to the twin brothers that want mum back from the dead to the terrorists on the killing fields of North Eastern Nigeria, there is sickness everywhere.

      Some are just more sensitive that others. Na the degree different. ‘Were kun ta’ like our dirty streets that we fail to see everyday !

  7. onos

    April 29, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    i have been depressed for a very long time now, am trying to help my self, most people i told with ur brushed me off, i have been tru a lot in life, but each that i wake up in the morning, i ask my self whats next in life, am sad, i cry all the time, i worry over life its self, i have tot of thinking about my own life, but still i keep on moving. i really dont know how people move forward, but am want to help my self and be happy once my, i want my joy back, i just want to be a happy gal once more.

  8. onos

    April 29, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    i have been depressed for a very long time now, am trying to help my self, most people i talk with brushed me off, i have been tru a lot in life, but each time i wake up in the morning, i ask my self whats next in life, i cry all the time, i worry over life its self, i have tot of taking my own life, but still i want to keep on moving forward in life . i really dont know how people move forward, but i want to help my self and be happy once more, i want my joy back, i just want to be a happy gal once again

    • Connie

      April 29, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      Onos, please send me an email. [email protected].
      Maybe I can help. I understand what you are going through. I was one’s there. Just hang in there. All things in this world are passing. You will get your joy back.

    • Mounah

      April 29, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      I live in the USA, I don’t know where you live but please email me if or when you need or want to talk. Here’s my email: [email protected]
      We can all help each other to deal with depression. Love & hope to hear from you. ❤️

    • lola

      April 30, 2016 at 4:39 am

      Onos, I have gone through depression. The time I knew I needed help was when i drove aimlessly for hours until I decided to drive off a bridge. I have a family that is very supportive but just one thing almost pushed me off the edge. If you need to talk to anyone you can email me at [email protected].
      I pray God heals you. Don’t let anyone ever tell you depression is for weak people or rich people or ajebutter’s . Depression is a disease just like alcoholism just like cancer. It is indiscriminate.

  9. mimi

    April 29, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    hmmm… sorry to digress but shouldn’t teebillz be arrested for suicide attempt???

  10. juliet

    April 29, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Just as am asking God to save my life,depression is one jounery only God can save one from,
    I have been beteryed by a man I gave nothing but true love for 13yrs of my life but was treated like a prices of rag,found out he has been sleeping with over 50 different women 80% are prostitutions,gave me so many infections that am spending thousand of naria on drugs
    Sometime I went giveup to let him win,nobody seens understands my pains
    Love is not suppose to be a torture,am so broken that sometime my brain and head become so heavy.
    Don’t know how to over come this
    Talking trush about people going through pains is unfear

    • nikky

      April 29, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      Walk away. Dont let a man kill you. Keep your head up, Pray and walk away. Believe me, its better to be single and happy than married and unhappy. Wish you all the best juliet.

    • Mounah

      April 29, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Juliet, here’s my email if you want or need someone to talk to: [email protected]

    • Bimbo

      April 29, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      You need tough love. How can you give 13 years of your life to a useless person? Why do we take this marriage must succeed thing by force by fire? How would you stay with someone giving you infections? Is a marriage worth your life and sanity? What are you teaching your children? I’m sorry to say, no offense intended – didn’t you have anybody who could have talked some sense into you through the 13 years you were married?

    • Jamce

      April 30, 2016 at 9:37 am

      Pls run for your life. Marriage is not the definition of life. God did not institute marriage for suffering and death and God will not save you if you are not ready to save yourself. Be bold and summon courage to walk away. I can help if you reach me on [email protected]. Shalom

  11. friend

    April 29, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    @Onos please hang on, seek help from a specialist and a trusted friend. Sometimes depression comes and goes. It will get better, I know that’s hard to imagine but it will. Hang on :*

  12. iceicebaby

    April 29, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    I pray for everyone struggling with depression that you will find peace and healing and that the Spirit of God will always give you comfort and cause you to see the sliver lining in every dark cloud. Warm hugs all around

  13. Felinda

    April 29, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Bella you need to start having a poll button on here
    I want to know how many of your bloggers have ever had suicidal thoughts
    I have – in 2004 it was extremely dark time for me. I was extremely utterly depressed. All my friends (so call friends avoided me) except one called Cathy. We lived in two different states (i lived in GA she lived in OH) but i guess she could sense it with my rant and constant crying and wanted to give up on God so she always took time to call me and always text me to make sure am alright. I never told my family cos they will NEVER understand or say “Stop being CHILDISH”. – i don.t trust anyone in my family not even my mom to talk about such things to.

    One day i wanted to drink Anti freeze cos i wanted to end it all. The thoought came in my mind off and on for weeks. I felt my family didnt care – cos they will say i should TOUGHEN UP and STOP BEING CHILDISH

    I had graduated with my MBA from a very good school in the Midwest in 2004 and for almost 2 yrs couldn’t find a job, for making ends meet i worked in a retail store earning $7 an hour while my counterparts were earning $80000 (at least that is what they told me). Every one of the 50 odd interview i went i was denied. It was the lowest point in my life then. My so called friends will come in the retail shop and look at me with pity like why are you working here blah blah blah.

    Its 2016. I am in a better place now. I have learned from my friend Cathy. I know how to listen to people when they going thru stuff. Dont judge or interrupt – just listen – and after you give them good Godly advice. I think one of the things Cathy use to do that helped me is she will always give me a testimony of someone she knows (whether it was true or just to make m feel good – it worked). who went thru worse and with prayer and patience how they rose above it to be a complete success.

    I will never forget 2004-2005

    ps: COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY because another thing was a lot of my so called friends whom i graduated MBA with, who were calling me telling me they have gotten several $80000 offers from Fortune 500 companies and didn’t know which one to choose i should help them, come to find out some of them were lieing and here i was thinking God hated me and with my MBA and great undergrad degree i couldn’t even find a mere job and ended up in retail earning $7. God thought me patience working minimum wage in the retail. In everything be patient, EVERY SET BACK IS SETUP FOR A COMEBACK.

    IF YOU ALWAYS THINK YOU HAVE IT WORSE, SOMEONE HAS IT WORSE THAN YOU, YOU JUST DONT KNOW WHO IT IS, SOMEONE WANTS TO HAVE WHAT YOU HAVE THAT YOU DONT EVEN VALUE

    Peace to you all.

    • The real dee

      April 29, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Felinda I love love love your story. I agree we need to actually have a poll to know those who are depressed or have been depressed. I also went through a stage of depression, I’ve stated my story on many of the depression posts so I don’t want to start recounting mine.

      I’m glad I overcame depression and it’s now a thing of the past in my life. Like you said, I had a ‘Cathy’ in my life too who was my friend, confidant, cheerleader and now my husband. God used him to help me stay alive so many times I wished I could just die. He was always there to listen, encourage, advise, cheer me on and pray for me. And now, I am far away from everything and everybody who got me into that depressed state and with the only person who saw through my fake smiles, laughters and pretentious “I am fine’.

      I think BN should start a forum on depression to help people who are depressed. Most times, a depressed person just needs a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on and a wise person. I’m not a therapist but I’m ready to help anyone who is currently going through depression with my own little experience.

  14. Felinda

    April 29, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    i meant how many of your *readers have had suicidal thoughts.

  15. Felinda

    April 29, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    God **taught me patience

  16. Ijebujesha

    April 29, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    You should abuse me all you can but depression is an ajebo sickness. Go to the hinterlandschool and see how people remain very happy and content despite a life of acute deprivation. But you ajebos in trying to outshine yourselves on and off social media, in trying to be British+ American (don’t let me even start with the fake accents) when in reality you are Nigerian (identity crisis has been proven to be a major trigger of depression), in trying to conceal your pains when you fall into such moods like every other person-just so you must always be perceived to be forever happy and thriving. The places of worship you run to only aggregate it …they have Bankers fellowship where you only go display your material showmaship yet again-fromore multiple private jets to Dubai yacht party. If you aint tagging along, then you must be a sinne and god(not GOD) must be angry with you. I can go on with the many troubles of you ajebos or ajebo wanna be but it won’t make any difference so I will just shut up. Yes, keep the abuse coming..truth has always been a bitter pill to swallow.

    • Nene

      April 29, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      I agree. Comparison can cause depression also. Drama queens and kings. If u really want to die, why slit ur wrist or overdose on pills? Take a knife and stab yourself, drink rat poison or shoot yourself with a gun. A lot of people abuse the word:depression and that’s why very few people believe them. A truly depressed person can’t hide it but they also try act normal, very few of them attempt suicide but they can wish death upon themselves. You either die by suicide, not seeking attention through suicidal attempts.

    • Takeseveralseas

      April 29, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      So sorry you feel this way. I pray you find healing . It is well with your bitter and vile soul. Pele dear

    • Rigba

      April 29, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      Thank u o. If its that bad I guess all the poor people in Nigeria should v committed suicide.

    • Sandra

      April 29, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      the poor people dont have that worry cos all they have known is poverty they dotn know any different. They deal with their depression they own way and another person who is not poor deals with theirs differnt.

      it is very stupid to make judgement by saying just cos some poor person has dealt with their worries better someone a bit more privilege has no excuse to be depressed.

      Its absolute nonsense. We are all not born the same . How one deals with issues is all different. –

    • lola

      April 30, 2016 at 4:42 am

      Depression is a disease just like alcoholism just like cancer. It is indiscriminate. Yes, people that do all these stuff above tend to have a higher probability of being depressed but who knows what the cause is or maybe perhaps this is their method of coping with depression. Please educate yourself don’t be ignorant. Statements like these would deter people from getting the help they need.

  17. Nene

    April 29, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Tbillz might be depressed. Who in this world isn’t? But that was not a cry for help, it was a plot to bring his wife down and mess her up.

    • Moyo

      April 29, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      thank you for this comment, I don’t know why people can see through him, most depressed people actually blame themselves and not other people, not once did he blame himself. Ewu

  18. Nene

    April 29, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Mood swings and depression are not the same thing. A lot of people suffer from mood swings but they think they’re depressed. A truly depressed person cannot enjoy normal things he/she would normally enjoy e.g a mother loving her baby, a child studying for exams, a doctor wanting to save lives, etc the person can’t function from day to day. Committing suicide or being suicidal is not necessarily a symptom of depression, it’s not even in top symptoms for depression. People need to be diagnosed properly and not self-diagnose. I know some of my friends who claim to be depressed after a 1 night stand or a drinking session or after getting sacked from work. In reality, they were sad and probably suicidal for some time,but not depressed.

  19. NationalSquirrel

    April 29, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I knew Nigerians were gonna go HAM on mental health issues, post tee billz

  20. uber

    April 29, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    -Having a nagging mother in law can drive one to an edge
    -graduating with 2.1 since 2011 without a job can drive one to an edge
    -being over 30 in Nigeria, trying to get a job can cause depression
    -being married and a mother trying to get a job in Nigeria can drive one nuts
    -looking for a backbone to startup a biz can be pretty difficult mind you, no father and mother who can use connection…

    On and on but in all, I’ll not give up.

  21. Anu

    April 29, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    So tru Karen ,wen it cmes to depression naija is a country wre no one understand wat d victim is going tru.. Depression is real and a mental illness. I once experience it,, I fought it through being happy no matter wat and believing ders is a light afta d tunnel.. We all go tru hard moments bt it depends on how we handle it.. Inferiority complex n comparison can also cause depression alot..

  22. Optimistic

    April 29, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing Karen. God bless you. I am a doctor myself and I have recently started taking an antidepressant. Isolation is a key sign. Untreated depression can lead to worsening physical health. Please see a doctor and ensure that you take care of your mental health. Just like the heart, pancreas and liver breakdown and change with age, so does the brain with age, stress, genetics, envrionment etc. This is 2016. Mental health stigma should be a thing of the past.

  23. Precious

    April 30, 2016 at 8:52 am

    I suffer from all Dr osaz enlisted. I’ve been battling with depression for a year and two months now. Even the man I love left cause of it. Sometimes when I think of committing suicide, this other thing says “what if things get fine the moment you commit suicide? The bad thing about my case is that of have no friends. Maybe having nice friends would have helped. I just hope all this ends someday

  24. Jamce

    April 30, 2016 at 9:54 am

    @Ijebujesha, well said. But even poor people do suffer depression and manifest in different ways. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1Jn.2:15-17. These are the root causes of the problems of depression. But there are other natural causes due to an individual’s physiological and psychological make up. Please do not bottle up anything out of shame. Open up your feelings to select people and one or two may be of help. Shalom

  25. I.K.

    May 3, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Again, can we just –as Nigerians– drop this depression talk, coz it’s sickening me to my bone marrows. Depression is a disease, I get it, but not here in Nigeria. Even if it is, it’s for those affluent, greedy brothers and sisters who stash millions away in offshore accounts; those who think that when they die, they’ll go into the after world with all their loot. Look at TeeBillz for instance. He’s rich as a motherfucker, and greedy as a hundred Naira note. Now hear this crone harping the fact again and again and again, like I haven’t heard it over and over…..

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