Symptoms And Symptoms Of Depression

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Ginika addresses Ifemelu directly about her mental health, declaring, “I think you’re suffering from depression (Adichie 194).” Ginika states it directly using clear, and even, confrontational words such as her use of the words “suffering” and “depression.” “Suffering” is a word with a heavy and loaded connotation, where it implies that a person is helpless to their condition, and that the condition that they are bearing is serious. “Suffering” is unlike the words “hurting” or “aching;” it forces the person who is suffering to be aware of how serious the condition is. “Depression” has the same effect; it forces the person in question to be viscerally aware of their serious condition. Ginika and Ifemelu are both educated, aware of…show more content…
Depression and mental illness, here, is associated with a certain group of people: Americans by Ifemelu, which on the surface seems irresponsible, lazy, and offensive. Depression, in the narrator 's case, is associated with a privilege only capable for Americans to create and have. However, if we dig into the historical and cultural implications of this statement, we soon begin to see that this statement is less about characterizing American privilege, but more about the attitudes of depression outside of the Western world. Dr. Frank Njenga, Kenya’s leading psychiatrist, explains how attitudes and knowledge of mental disorder is formed, in his essay “The concept of mental disorder: an African perspective,” stating, “The concept of mental disorder is determined by many factors, including the historical context, cultural influence, level of scientific knowledge and…level of education in certain circumstances, as well as many others (Njenga 1).” Our attitudes on mental disorder are shaped by the historical, social, and educational background. In many African countries, including Nigeria where Ifemelu is from, historically, mental disorders have been stigmatized, ignored, or perceived as a concept created for and by Western countries and “un-African.” More so, in many African countries, attitudes concerning mental illness are shaped by
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