THE ALTERNATIVE With Reno Omokri
There has been a rash of suicides in Nigeria of late and many so-called medical experts have been blaming the situation on an epidemic of depression in the nation of Nigeria. Before you accept that diagnosis, let me tell you about my experience. As many of my readers know, I am a very avid traveller.
On one of my travels, I visited a country recovering from war. This country had been ravaged by some of the most vicious and inhumane wars ever known to mankind. As you would expect, even though they are now enjoying perhaps their longest ever period of peace, there were those amongst them who are still suffering from the effects of the war, with the most vulnerable being war orphans.
I visited an orphanage in this country. This orphanage was understaffed and underfunded and I saw the man in charge and his staff running here and there, looking after children and teens and I felt for them.
The condition was depressing, or so I thought. And I did not know when I said to the man in charge ‘don’t you ever get depressed by being here?’. I will never, ever, forget his response to me. He said to me, “can’t you see all these people I am looking after? I don’t have time to be depressed.”
That, to me, was an eye opener on the subject of depression. Too many people who are depressed today (not all of them. I repeat, not all of them), are in their conditions because their thinking is focused on themselves. If they would only focus on other people, they may just find that their conditions will improve or even disappear. Depression does exist. However, not every condition that we accept as depression is really depression.
Depression is REAL. But BEFORE you accept a diagnosis of depression and start taking anti depression drugs, I encourage you to try this exercise. Stop thinking about YOURSELF. Think about OTHERS. Think about the less privileged. Think about orphans. Think about the physically disabled. Take 24 hours to FORGET YOURSELF and do something for them. Then see if you are still depressed after the experience.
I remember the story about a man who was going to commit suicide because he was broke. He bought a local delicacy known as moin-moin and are it and threw away the leaves. Then a beggar picked up the leaves and licked them. There and then, the man gave up committing suicide!
I have met someone who thought they were depressed. And the person actually and strongly believed it. I sent that person money and when he received the bank alert, he received instant healing. My point is not to trivialise depression. But before you start taking anti depression drugs, make sure you are really and truly depressed and not just broke.
When I was in the university, a friend of mine told us he was depressed. I traveled to Benin to inform his dad. His dad told me that there has never been depression in their family, but I should take this N500 (it was 94). Behold, that N500 healed my friend of depression.
Too many people are LONELY, HEARTBROKEN, BROKE, DISAPPOINTED, DISILLUSIONED, REJECTED and JILTED. But they have allowed MODERN SCIENCE to deceive them that they are DEPRESSED. Don’t allow a one time temporary EVENT become your life long permanent DESTINY.
One person who should be a candidate for depression is Leah Sharibu. However, we got testimony from a Boko Haram escapee last month that Leah Sharibu is anything but depressed. In captivity, this escapee revealed that 16 year old Leah is a source of encouragement to other hostages and leads them in prayer and has become a prophetess who preaches to them.
If Leah Sharibu can be in high spirits despite her condition, then perhaps there is hope for you in your condition. You have your freedom. Leah Sharibu does not have hers. You have your family, Leah Sharibu is prevented from having any contact with hers. Yet Leah is in high spirits and you are depressed. Give that a thought. Bad things happen to everyone. But do not become that event. It is a bus stop. Wait a little while and life will move you from that bus stop to another bus stop. I know there is such a thing as Clinical Depression. But not every depressed person has it. Some just have to move to the next bus stop! And it is not just those incidences that I describe that lead some into faux depression (by this, I am not discountenancing clinical depression and I don’t want emails and letters from outraged people. Keep your outrage to yourself!).
Some people have allowed competition to push them into faux depression. They are keeping up with the Joneses, especially in this social media age. They want to slay. They want to project a lifestyle that they can’t afford simply because they are competing with others who are also flaunting what they can’t afford. There are many young teenagers and young boys and girls who have been trying to compete with other teenage and young social media vixens. They want to fly in private jets and change cars the way DJ Cuppy and Regina Daniels are doing. But they don’t have a rich dad, like Femi Otedola or a near septuagenarian billionaire ‘husband’ like Ned Nwoko. So they start acting rich. They go into debt. They may allow men, both married and single, take advantage of them. They may even go into yahoo yahoo, especially if they are males.
But here is the thing. Becoming rich is actually cheaper than acting rich. Acting rich is expensive. You have to buy the best phones, clothes and cars that you can’t afford. But if you invested that money in a business and grew it, you will be rich for real instead of acting rich. And not only will you become rich, you will also be less likely to fall into faux depression.
In conclusion, all that I know about overcoming depression, I learnt from two Bible verses, which I will now cite below.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”-Philippians 2:4 (ESV).
“Godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6.
Depression may appear overwhelming, but we must remember that depression is something that exists in this world, and nothing that exists in this world is beyond God.
This is why 1 John 4:4 says what it says. Wherever I am tempted to despair, I turn to that verse and it inspires me to keep on going until I overcome. “because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”-1 John 4:4 (KJV). God is bigger than any problem or opposition you could encounter on earth and without Him, it is virtually impossible, even with medication, to overcome depression.
I am not advocating that you should stop taking your medication. Not at all. What I am saying is that those should be secondary. The primary solution to depression is a relationship with God through Christ Jesus. And here, I rest my case.
Jesus ALWAYS rose up early EVERY morning to PRAY. Not some mornings. EVERY morning. Yet, He is the Son of God. You wake up every morning and your first act is to grab your phone to check social media and you wonder why you are NOT a success. You can’t grow by reading the Bible sporadically. You can only grow by reading it regularly. God never promised to reward those who CASUALLY seek Him. He rewards those who DILIGENTLY seek Him. If you have not read The Bible in the morning, DONT EAT #FreeLeahSharibu #RenosNuggets
* You hardly use social media to evangelise
* You hardly use social media to exhort
* You hardly use social media to encourage God’s people.
But the minute you hear unverified gossip about the church of God your fingers become hyperactive on social media! Whose work are you really doing? God’s or satan’s #FreeLeahSharibu #RenosNuggets
Thinker. #1 Bestselling author of Facts V Fiction: True Story of GEJ Years. Avid traveler. Table Shaker. Buhari Tormentor. Sharer of the Gospel, not the gossip.