Adulthood seemed like a dream to behold for every teenager who got tired of being under the shackles of being called a “child”, but what we weren’t prepared for or educated about was the hardship of Adulthood, the depression that came with being independent. Little did we know it was going to hit us differently.
Depression, however, is classified as a mood disorder. It may be described as feelings of sadness, loss, or anger that interfere with a person’s everyday activities. It is very important to note that People experience depression in different ways. It may interfere with your daily work, resulting in lost time and lower productivity. It can also influence relationships and some chronic health conditions.
It’s important to realize that feeling down at times is a normal part of life, as it is almost impossible. Sad and upsetting events happen to everyone. But, if you’re feeling down or hopeless on a regular basis, you could be dealing with depression.
The symptoms of depression can be experienced differently among men, women, and children as the case may be. But for most adults, it is believed that they experience symptoms in mood, such as anger, aggressiveness, irritability, anxiousness, restlessness.
In emotional well-being, they experience symptoms such as feeling empty, sad, hopeless. In behavior, they experience symptoms such as loss of interest, no longer finding pleasure in favorite activities, feeling tired easily, thoughts of suicide, drinking excessively, using drugs, engaging in high-risk activities
In sexual interest, they experience symptoms such as reduced sexual desire, lack of sexual performance
cognitive abilities, such as inability to concentrate, difficulty completing tasks, delayed responses during conversations
In sleep patterns, they experience symptoms such as insomnia, restless sleep, and excessive sleep.
Transitioning into Adulthood is such an unprepared process with no blueprints to follow and having to juggle your new state of independence and responsibility, depression becomes a slippery slope for most people.
The varying fact of depression happens that if Mr. A suffers from depression from lack of financial backing, Mr. B’s issue might be as different as not having a good relationship with others, it is such a vicious cycle.
However, five bloggers share their different experiences of depression while transitioning into adulthood below.
Adulthood they say its a scam, no one gave me tips on how to prepare myself beforehand. growing up I always thought it was going to be a smooth road for me, yes isn’t it just to go to school and graduate with a good grade then I won’t have to stress myself so much looking for a job. Little did I know that was a big lie.
While I was in the University I enjoyed the days of collecting monthly allowance from my parents and always calling them for any little thing but unfortunately, everything ended after I graduated from school. I took the bold step to move to Lagos claiming I am now a big girl and I have to own my shit.
Yes, they say Lagos is a city of opportunities so I decided to do my NYSC in Lagos. I packed my things with the little money I had and I was ready to sacrifice all it takes to make it in life.
I got to Lagos and applied for so many jobs till I found the own I loved. Stayed with a friend and my service year was going well, having to collect NYSC allowance and also my salary coming in at the same time, gradually my service year came to an end and I wasn’t retained.
I was sad and heartbroken all I was thinking about was how to start a new life and go job hunting again. I moved from my friend’s place back to a family friend’s house where everything can be easy and I would spend less.
Lagos showed to be all shades of wrong during that period but I refused to give up, the amount of money I had in my savings went on feeding and some basic needs I had to attend to. I started wondering if I made the right choice coming to Lagos. All I just wanted each time was my mother’s hug, every single day I pray, cry, and think of my life at 27.
I had no one to call because my family is also going through a phrase at that moment. Depression became an everyday thing for me and I kept asking myself is this what adulthood really is because I wasn’t even prepared for this phrase. I thought I had my whole life mapped out, I thought coming to Lagos was the best decision I ever made but it turns out I am totally wrong.
Very funny what adulthood can do to one’s mental wellness. Growing up, I thought I had my entire life mapped out. Little did I know that the real deal about life was just to begin at 26.
The plan as proposed by our parents was quite very simple and the focus was crystal clear— pass through primary, secondary school, head to the university, graduate with excellent grades, and boom! a life of earthly bliss.
You should see my padded shoulders whenever I saw struggling adults then. I always despised them, saying to myself I can never be anything like that. Ahhh! My ancestors were laughing at me.
26 years down the line, I can barely answer the ultimate question “what’s your purpose?”
At 22, it dawns on me that I was in for a hot race, and trust me, hot is an understatement. My adulthood taught me how to manage sleep. It was at this point, I started getting off the bed without being told. I mean, you should have seen me before my 20s. I don’t joke with my sleep oh.
I had my first job on a 40k salary. 5k tax was off it already. I could barely save. 5k goes home every month. I lived at the accommodation provided and as such, I’d get myself foodstuff amounting to 10k. Other personal effects were 10k. At some point, I had to cut my hair to save some money.
I felt getting a higher-paid job should do the trick. It only got worse. Spent between 25-30k on transportation alone. Foodstuffs now doubled. In short, I don’t bother making a price list anymore because the prices never remain the same.
At a time when I have budgeted my salary and envisioned how it would go, that’s when the monitoring spirits of my father’s and mother’s house would throw themselves at me. It’s either something gets damaged in the house and needs immediate repair or one cousin is calling to ask for help or one friend is calling to buy Aso-Ebi.
And you what? My parents are always quick to make the calculations for me should I ever complain of being broke. There’s pressure from family about marriage, pressure from seeing friends achieve great things. I cry my eyes out almost every night knowing I should be better but yet feel very stuck. Depression, sincerely, isn’t far. Thank God for friends to keep one sane.
Basically, at 26, my eyes have seen. I am one step from being bankrupt, but we maeuve!
Nobody ever told me that adulthood is difficult. Nobody prepared me for the unknown. I thought everything would just remain smooth as it was during my teenage years and even as an undergraduate. Nobody sat me down to give a proper lecturer about life and the future ahead.
But reality hit me for the first time when my father passed away in my final year. It was then I realized that life is not fair. My father had been enduring most of the winds of life. He shielded us from facing the brutal world. All I knew was just to ask for my allowance and speed off to enjoy myself in school.
After his death, I truly became a full-fledged adult as a 23-year-old girl. It was then I realized that there won’t be anyone to provide for my needs, give me an allowance, buy my books, and support me.
Coming from a background where my mum worked as a full-time housewife, we were solely dependent on my dad for absolutely everything.
I wasn’t exactly spoilt but my father was able to provide almost all our basic needs. He made sure we didn’t go hungry and we had clothes and a roof on our head. Our education meant a lot to him. Not until his death, it didn’t really dawn on me that he was the only financial shield we had in the family.
With my dad out of the way, I became the breadwinner as the first child. I started hustling and looking for ways to provide money for my mum and siblings. Our extended family supported us but at a time, the funds stopped coming in.
Whenever I see construction workers, I used to say I can’t do such a dirty job but when life made me an instant adult, I didn’t have any choice than to search for construction sites that paid at least N3,000 daily.
It was a good income at that time. I did this job for some months until I fell sick. My mum was unhappy but we needed money. When I recovered, some friends introduced me to printing jobs. From that point, I started learning graphic design and made some money from printing clothes.
During my NYSC, I interned at a marketing company and I was quick to learn due to my curious mind. Luckily for me, the company retained me and paid me N100,000. It was a good start.
With a stable job and income, I had side gigs to increase my earnings. Over five years, I have moved into freelancing and teaching people about graphics design. I have also helped my mum start a little business that keeps her busy and brings in a considerable income to cater to my siblings.
However, I can’t consider myself a very rich person because about 60% of my income goes into family upkeep, data subscription, food, and girlfriend bills.
Nobody told me life would be rough but thankfully, I was able to wriggle through it. However, not everyone is lucky as I am.
You may have grown up in a family that handed you everything on a platter of gold. The love, the money, the attention. Well, lucky you, because mine was not the case. Growing up, I did not know what it felt like to live with one’s family, one’s parents. I lived with my aunt (paternal) and her family in Lagos.
It was not your typical family setting, as we always had other relatives come visiting which made it difficult for my aunt to focus on me because there were a handful of other things that craved her attention.
There were a couple of phases I navigated on my own (It was a don’t ask; don’t tell policy) without anyone noticing. I could remember going to write a couple of exams on my own without guidance, I mean, others had their parents or siblings with them, but there I was, on my own.
This and a couple of other scenarios I experienced made me come to the realization that I had to become an adult real fast.
As time went by, I began to realize that although I was not alone, there was a lot I needed to learn on my own. I mean, you do not expect to be thought about this next phase of life called “Adulthood”.
It was not until after my NYSC program that I saw life in an entirely different light. At this point, I knew that I had fully approached adulthood and needed to take full responsibility for my life and actions henceforth.
I began to job-hunt but nothing was forthcoming. My only saving grace was the fact that I lived at home, so you can tell that it lifted some weight off me, but other than the food and shelter from home, someway, somehow, I paid my own bills.
Interviews upon interviews volunteer jobs here and there, but it looked like my efforts just were not sustaining me. The hardest part of this was seeing my peers excel in their chosen fields because of the connections their parents or relative had, but there I was with nothing but character, morals, and values.
Of course, depression did set in, but I knew better than to let it hinder me from achieving my set goals.
Transitioning into adulthood in Nigeria is one of the most volatile things that can happen to any young adult of Nigerian descent.
The first thing to note about this as a Nigerian is that there is no instruction manual or guidance that eases you into the process. It all just hits you as you go by and it’s up to you to either get drowned in the process or swim right above it.
One of the highlights of my life was the first time I’d ever failed at anything, a scared young adult struggling to keep hormones in check. It was also coincidental with the first series of times I’d also experimented with recreational drugs. Without any prior experience, I’d simply concluded that my use of recreational drugs was definitely responsible for my failure and gradually fell into a steep spiral of vices; products of misguided thoughts.
Just like every other average Nigerian young adult, I’d also assumed that the problems were peculiar to me but unknown to me, it was mostly a horde of young people who had no idea that being adults was entirely different from growing up as a child, and there were no filters with life anymore.
Unlike before, every approach to life was guided by parents and friends alike who helped you to stay saner with the passing of each day.
On a really cloudy Sunday morning, I’d woken up quite early cause I wanted to take part in a fitness exercise with a couple of friends who were in another university quite close to mine. When I got to this group I realized that there was a divide between mine and theirs, and it was the air that came with being filtered all your life. They were students of a neighboring private university and they apparently did not have the ruggedness required to jog the more than 40 miles between my school gate and theirs but they completely reeked of access.
Each one had come with a car and a pass for my school’s private sports complex on a Sunday, they apparently didn’t plan on making any 40-mile jog, but they also intended to make the return trip as easily as they made the initial one.
While this doesn’t point to all Nigerian private universities, my experience on this day made me realize that there were two different countries in Nigeria and that no matter what I did or how much I tried, these group of young men had the one advantage that I’d never had an opportunity to face life with and they didn’t even view it as an advantage because they’d taken their situation for granted all their life.
So I made a simple choice; Stack up, buy Access!!!