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Nigerians prone to traumatic stress – Psychologist

By Saheed Ibrahim

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A clinical psychologist, Mrs Chinelo Olayimika has warned that many Nigerians, especially journalists are prone to Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) due to frequent exposure to sad and traumatic news flying around in the media.
Mrs Olayimika, who condemned the recent mind-bending happenings in the country, said they are capable of inducing acute stress in the audience.
Her words: “it is sad to see that there is increasing number of insurgent attacks, violence and crime.
“Naturally, the human mind will be overwhelmed because we are designed to soak in, take in and when we get to a particular height, it becomes excessive, unhelpful and the resultant factor could be, having secondary trauma from all these experiences.
“Sometimes you could have increase level of distress, that’s stress. Sometimes, acute stress could result from daily exposure to the violence, the lamentation, you know so many unhealthy and unhappy post happenings across the country
In view of this, the mental health expert recommended that Nigerians need to limit their exposure to negative news.
According to her, it is better to stay away from these sad stories in order to protect individual’s mental health
“Sometimes, it may be nice to take a break, talk to someone about how you feel.
“You don’t have to take it in, soak it in and allow it to overwhelm you. Know when to take a break. Sometimes you just have to take a break.
“Limit your exposure where necessary as much as you can. You can even do some do some filters on your phone not be exposed to it. And also, you can take a walk.
Other recommendations offered by the psychologist were watching movies and comedies, creating fun, having nice times with loved ones and friends, feeding the mind with positive things.
“If it’s overwhelming and cannot help yourself, please see a professional doctor or therapist to help you make sense of how to deal with stress”, she concluded.

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