The subject of depression can be very sensitive but it’s not that deep in all cases. Just as in the extreme cases where one might need to consult a mental health professional, you could also relax symptoms of depression with these phrases common in the Nigerian parlance. As loose and ordinary as they may seem, constant repetition with a strong conviction could lighten up your mood, relax your nerves and shed off whatever negative feeling.
Las las we go dey alright
It is safe to say this is the Nigerian version of There’s light at the end of the tunnel. In a country where a lot of its people are faced with hard times and many have to struggle to make a decent living, many have settled to the phrase that seems to ooze a lot of hope for a better tomorrow. A constant reminder to oneself of this phrase could turn to be an efficacious medicine to depression
I cannuh come and go and kill myself
In other words, do your best and leave the rest. As succinctly put by Chinua Achebe, “Being Nigerian is abysmally frustrating and unbelievably exciting”. The mix of these bitter sweet experiences has evoked these phrase. At some point in the curve of depression, you may just feel indescribable despair and hopelessness, but repeating this to yourself even in the most jocular manner has the potential of helping matters in a fashion you may not consciously realise.
It is well….even in the well
As much as this mere pun, in moments of pain, panic and uncertainty this could be one of the statements of conviction to revive you. This is another phrase of hope popular among Nigerians as it features in our day to day lives, constantly repeating this brings some rays of positivity irrespective of how ugly the condition may be.
If there’s hope there’s life
This is a saying linked to Cicero, but a popular Nigerian tongue. Nigerians aren’t just the most religious in the world, Nigerians can also build anything on hope. Consciously developing such conviction could be another antidote to help you deal with sordid emotions whenever they occur.
If God be for me for….who fit be against me?
Maybe not so popular, but you find this cliché on car stickers, branded shirts etc. This is a personalised version of Romans 8:31. You hear many Nigerians make consistent reference to ‘village people’ as the cause of their challenges. While this belief is mostly apocryphal on issues relating to mental health, you can mutter these words during those personal moments when everything before you seems upside-down. This expression of faith could re-awaken the quantum of 1confidence/energy required to trump whatever depressive symptom you may be encountering.