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Queen F. Queen: She Was Getting Worse & They Didn’t know

QueenYinka

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dreamstime_m_15569687One day, Sheila and I were out as usual and I just couldn’t help noticing her morose face; so, I asked her what was wrong and she quickly apologised. She said she couldn’t help being sad.

It was her sister’s birthday, but the sister didn’t live with the rest of the family…but in another part of the same town.

Apparently, I didn’t know the sister, because I thought Sheila was the only girl in the family. And no, the dad is too God-fearing to cheat or cause us the family any emotional pain of having a baby mama outside his marriage (I was sure of that).

When I asked that we visited the sister, she looked at me with teary eyes and said, “I wish it was that easy”. However, I insisted we had to see her since she was in the same town as we were, and she was really concerned.

We got to the house and it was obvious to me that it wasn’t a residential apartment because of its size. So, I looked over to see the signboard and saw Neuropsychiatric Hospital.

Wow! I thought to myself. She is a Nurse/Doctor/staff in this massive place? She must have a great heart to be doing this. (It’s not the easiest of professions and I applaud everyone who puts their sanity and emotions on the line just to help a stranger feel better.)

We got to the area where some of the patients were playing football and they were making advances at us. While I found it funny, she didn’t and said she would be so glad to date any one of them, if it only will make them get better.

Hmm…strange, I thought.

… I didn’t get to understand the depth of what she said until later.

Anyway, we got in and she asked the Matron to see a Valerie, the Matron said sweetly; “Aww! I don’t think you came at the right time, my dear. Valerie just had her time and we put her to sleep”.
She looked at me and the tears dropped uncontrollably from her eyes, then, I realized her sister was also a patient.

My heart sank.

I asked her that we take a walk around the massive compound and maybe before we got back Valerie would be awake and in a better place to see her.

She agreed.

While we walked, I asked her how Valerie got there, and here is the (not so) short story as narrated by Sheila:

***
Valerie is the eldest child and she is such a caring sister, soft spoken, pleasant and quite sensitive. She was 24 years old at that time and was studying Mathematics in one of the Federal Universities in Nigeria.

She had the best result in her first and second year, but we noticed in the first semester of her third year she had 5 Fs and when she got back from school for her holiday, she was withdrawn.

We thought it was because of her result and she just didn’t want to talk about it or maybe it was about her relationship that just ended bitterly.

We were not sure but tried all we could to get her out of the bad moods, but nothing worked until she left for school.

Yet again, her result only grew worse in the second semester and she came back home to repeat the same cycle.

Then we became worried and began asking questions from her friends, even went as far as asking the ex-boyfriend, but we got nothing.

Also, nothing we did worked because the harder we tried to get her to a happy place, the farther she kept her distance from us. So, we unconsciously let go and adjusted to accommodate the new Valerie…

During her final exams in school, we got a call from school that she wasn’t around to write because she left for home that same day and said nothing to anyone of her room mates’ questions.

Shocked but we decided to wait for her to return home. It must have been the hardest wait for us all because as night drew near we became worried.
Days, weeks and months went by and we were still waiting.

Reported to the police, called her phone that never goes through, took frequent trips to her school to find out about the same information every time because we thought she was missing or kidnapped.

At least not until 10months later when we got an anonymous call from a stranger saying Valerie had been with them for that long and they were beginning to get scared since there hasn’t been any word from anyone.

They said they met her in the church where she was sleeping as a homeless person and they decided to give her shelter because she said she didn’t have anywhere to go and had nobody.

However, they became scared when she wouldn’t say anything to anyone, always charged her phone, but never pick calls and when they asked her about anything with the subject school or family/friends, she became very angry, violent and destructive.
So, they had been working tirelessly for weeks to get any information about her; and in one of the searches, they found a diary she kept with names and numbers of everyone in her box. And that is how they saw Dad’s name and number, hence, the call.

Dad and mom rushed down to the state which is like 3 hours from ours and 5 hours from her school to pick her up. But, when they got there, she started screaming that she didn’t know them.
Scared and shocked, they went to pick some policemen that helped to force her into the car back to our town; and straight to the hospital where the doctor declared her mentally sick.

She has since then, for 2 years, been in the Psychiatric hospital.

We are hoping that one day soon she remembers who we are and not violent towards us all.
***
What! How on earth did someone with such a free happy spirit become so depressed and no one knew the signs? What must have happened that has caused her to be a shadow of herself?

I share this story with you today, so you can actually be your brother/sister’s keeper.

If someone is all of a sudden showing some or all of these signs, please help them by telling their loved ones so that they can get them help urgently.

Hint: They found out from the counselor that she confided in her boyfriend back in school when she was raped by a lecturer, and the boyfriend who said it was her fault since she visited the lecturer at home for whatever reason broke the relationship.
So, I guess she couldn’t deal with both emotions at the same time and still feared to tell the family members so she isn’t judged.

Last note: Mental Health is not a joke; don’t ignore people with signs. Also, guard your heart and mind jealously, so it is not tampered with.

Wishing you a sound mind!

Photo Credit: Angela Ollison | Dreamstime.com

15 Comments

  1. Leah

    September 5, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    The worst part of it all is that in Nigeria, she is most likely not getting the proper treatment both medically and emotionally. Doctors and nurses in that Country do not treat and care for patients well except you are wealthy and notable, and they know they won’t get away with it. Mental illness is very hard to dictate, treat and control even in the most sophisticated and advanced parts of the world, let alone Nigeria. And the stigma of it all is a whole other story. Best wishes.

    • Spunky

      September 5, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      You were too quick to comment and judge. Doctors and nurses in that country do not treat and care for patients well except you are wealthy and notable? I don’t know how you came about such assumption. However, I understand mental deficiency takes quite a process and consistent evaluation to get a patient stable. It doesn’t mean doctors in this field especially in Nigeria are ignorant of the process to stability. I empathize with anyone who has a friend or family who’s mentally challenged.

    • miini

      September 6, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Leah….Your comment is so silly. I don’t know why people are always quick to comment falsehood. Doctors are some of the most dedicated people in this world and that includes the psychiatrists. I remember the care and empathy I saw during my posting at the NPHA, very holistic and multidiciplinary approach to patient care, it was the 1st time I saw how much impact and difference social workers really make.

      I think we should rather raise more awareness about mental health than rubbish the efforts of pple who have dedicated their lives to making a difference. We can also start by being more supportive of pple who voice out and speak about their issues rather than call it TMI. This silly prideful culture of ours where we expect pple to have it all together all the time doesn’t help matters.

    • tunmi

      September 6, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      I slightly disagree with you. My family is poor and a close relative was able to get help. Let’s be careful is how we use wide strokes to paint Nigeria. You do have a point that being wealthy makes a serious difference in Nigeria, sometimes deathly serious. But mental health really needs one major thing: early diagnosis and treatment. The problem with poor folks is that they will go everywhere but the hospital first. My folks did it. They went to church, mosque, traditional, everywhere until someone had enough and was the voice of reason.

      Ignorance about mental health can truly be combated with media: in radio, TV, and web dramas. For too long Naija movies inaccurately portrayed mental illness as something that could be prayed away or something caused by juju. That damaging mindset is still with us. It doesn’t have to be expensive to create soaps that include mental health accurately shown, diagnosed and treated.

    • Nkechi

      September 7, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      Before I read the story to the end, I already thought it had to do with a man. God please help our girls. My friend ran away from school and did not do her final exams because her boyfriend broke up with her, she went back to face her carry over. We met somewhere and she was laughing at her stupidity whilst narrating her story. Not every girl will take it that way. I hope your sister meets Christ and understands quickly that life does not end because a man broke up with you no matter what you put into it. I was out of UNI already and almost 30 when my boyfriend broke up with me. Of course, I was angry and sad. I trusted God and fasted now I am happy I didn’t marry him. Don’t want to be part of his current life at all, in fact if I had married him, I would have probably been in an institution. You can never know more than God.

  2. Rrrrrrr

    September 5, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Oh my God. My hearthe goes out to your sister Valerie. It started with depression that’s for sure. It’s so easy to treat such with a wave of the hand not knowing how sensitive issues like this are. We all need to do better. Parents, brothers, sisters, every member of the community. Gosh where did the being our brother’s keeper mantra all go to ?

  3. The real D

    September 5, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    I am currently taking an abnormal psychology class and the things I am learning just blows my mind. I am viewing mental disorders in a new light. A family friend became severely depressed after the sudden passing of her dad but fortunately a good neighbor contacted her family and told them to come get her, with medication she is doing well today.

  4. wynie

    September 5, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    As a lady who has constantly visited the psychiatric hospital in yaba,i must say it is not easy! Before it got to the point where i had to be a patient,i had suffered a lot in silence. I would go days,weeks without saying a word to anyone in my family,i would eat only once a day,never slept during the day or night. My family ignored me & would say my friends have come to visit me from the spiritual world. What they didn’t know was i was dying slowly,i cry my eyes out in my room,cut myself,couldn’t keep a relationship or friends. It was difficult to keep up with me. I had slowly fell into depression from a young age and i didn’t even know it. I was constantly abused sexually for 3 months by my cousin & after every one,he would beat me & lock me in the wardrobe. I’m 27 now and those events cost me my mental state of health until i met my now ex boyfriend who is a doctor & made sure i got treatment. Please,if you know anyone who shows signs of depression,show them love. Please help them. I’m constantly working towards getting better too. I pray Valerie gets better!

    • Manny

      September 5, 2016 at 9:39 pm

      Sorry to hear this. I thank God for your healing so far. It will be perfected in the name of Jesus

    • QueenYinka

      Queen

      September 6, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      Thank God for your healing Wynie. Please let me know if you would like to share your story on the process of healing so we can put it out there for everyone going through this and hasn’t met a Doctor like your EX. ([email protected]). Thanks for reading

  5. Lepa

    September 5, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    It is well with us. I know am depressed. Discussed it with my family once or twice, yet am told how could I be depressed- I must Hv too much joy- All I have is Google. Scared if I go see a doctor I might not be able to live life again without the constant use of anti depressants.

    I want to be normal, no mood swings, no suicidal tendencies, etc.

    • Lizzie

      September 6, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Please, please and please go see a doctor. I beg you please.. You will be better and live life with more vigor.

    • tunmi

      September 6, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Please go see a physician. You may have to live on mess but you will be able to live without the mood swings and other symptoms of your disorder.

    • QueenYinka

      Queen

      September 6, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Hi Lepa…I’m sure there are many ways you can get help. I could send you the contact of a life coach who can help you get to a point you would feel better or mentally ready to get medical help. You can mail me on ([email protected]). Thank you for reading

  6. garet

    September 8, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    hello all please if u can find time to got on my website https://garetwrites.wordpress.com. just to read . i knw BN is the best but i would appreciate comments . its just about life nothing serious. Thanks for this platform Bellanaija.

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