Stella Dimoko Emergency Room - Mental Health ISH....


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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Emergency Room - Mental Health ISH....

Oh Dear!!!!

Hello everyone! I am so excited to be back and I was away because I had exams to prepare for to make me licensed to work as a registered nurse . I am glad to announce that I passed my exams. ...I am back now!!!

Before I go further,I would like to thank everyone who is taking time to read and has learnt a few things from this series so far and I also want us to bear in mind that each case is treated in line with the standard ethics of nursing and medicine in this part of the world and not everything done in the management of the patients are discussed here as I try to be brief and straight as possible. The emergency room is really a place of diverse and unpredictable cases.

Here goes............

The lady in her mid-forties was brought into the emergency room, it was a case of alcohol overdose. she was found at home by her neighbours when she didn’t answer the door . They called the police who found her unresponsive and barely breathing so the paramedics were called. On arrival to the emergency unit, she was placed on oxygen and was connected to a monitor. To be honest, I thought she had passed away because she felt so cold and her pulse was so low and feeble. She was drooling saliva and her face looked pale and blue. She had flashy rings on her fingers and her bath robe was made of fur, she looked like she had done some cosmetic work on her lips and nose. I could tell that she was well-to-do.

She had her blood taken to measure the amount of alcohol she took and it was 6x more than the legal limit. She had drips running as well to hydrate her. Her blood results showed her kidneys were failing and her urea levels were high. She had catheter passed to drain urine, but despite the fluids she was having, the urine made was so little. The renal unit was informed that she could need dialysis to reduce the blood toxicity caused by the alcohol she took. We had to take off her huge robe to run an ECG and the result wasn’t as good as expected.

 She had several cuts on her body especially her hands and upper thighs which looked self-inflicted and even had breast implants that looked botched. Everything seemed wrong with her. The ambulance said she lived alone with her pets.

Luckily for her, she began to get better (despite not having dialysis) and her vital signs became a bit normal and stable. She finally woke up and requested to go home. Home ke? The doctors advised her to stay as she wasn’t fit yet but she began to get violent and yell at everyone.

When I read through her past medical records, I discovered she had lost her husband 5 years ago and had slipped into depression. They had known each other since they were in the university and his death broke her plus the fact that they didn’t have children. Her parents had died in a plane crash. It was the month her husband died that she discovered she was pregnant and she tried to keep the baby but she lost it too(she had miscarriages before then) . She then began to drink heavily and squandered their savings, maybe because she had lost hope in life.

 She resigned her well-paying job, went on vacations alone, bought very expensive clothings that she hardly wore and even had plastic surgery done to make herself look ‘more acceptable ‘ . She bought and sold pets she didn’t need and would cut herself with blade. She didn’t have any close relative to turn to.

 She later started rehab. She had been on antidepressants and was seen by a psychiatrist every month but after a while she stopped showing up to the clinic and using her medications.

I felt really sorry for her. She had been through a lot truly. She had drank so heavily in recent times that she was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis (common in alcoholism) 6 months ago. It became an habit for her to wake up and drink all day and pass out. She couldn’t even care for herself let alone her pets. The mental health team was called to see her on admission and she was persuaded to stay on the wards to get better treatment. She was told she could lose her life if she continued to ignore her mental health needs.

There are so many people today going through tough life struggles. This is a part of the world where mental health issues are sensitive and well talked about. The support systems are good. There are lots of clinics and social groups for people to join to deal with their struggles.

But then again, I remember how life is back home, I remember there are many Nigerians who suffer from the loss of their loved ones from the poor and stinky health system and have to deal with it, who lose their jobs, who are depressed and yet have nowhere to turn to. There are few mental facilities in the county for the increasing population. 

The mental facilities look like ancient mental asylums. The suicide rates are increasing and there has still been absolutely nothing done to protect the mental health of its citizens. The life expectancy is getting lower yearly because we are exposed to critically harsh life conditions. The ones who swore to protect us are the ones killing the masses for the most ridiculous reasons . I used to think that my voice would always be for us to get a reformed health system and for me to educate as much people as I can through this medium but it seems the decay in the health sector goes deeper than we think. I read the news, I’ve seen it for myself but for obvious reasons people are now scared to speak up

Nevertheless, it’s important that you speak up whenever you’re going through tough times. It could be your job, health, finances or family matters that you feel is weighing you down and affecting your emotions significantly. Our voice is our weapon. It’s important you talk to someone you trust, someone who understands your situation and won’t tell you that ‘ everyone has his/her problems’ or mock you and also seek medical help if it’s really affecting your mental health. We can’t always handle our struggles ourselves.

 Let’s Speak up!


  1. Congrats on your certification.

  2. Oh you don't know my story.anxiety and depression is hell.people think u are OK but u ain't. Always putting up a brave face.pls where's that anonymous that said he/she sent a mail to Stella about how he overcame anxiety and depression.pls reach out to me.Thank you

  3. We live in a society where if you share your problems, you are either mocked or used for gossip. I am depressed and it’s beginning to affect my marriage. It all started after I had a preterm labor at 7 months and I lost the baby, I took in again a month after that and had a miscarriage at 5 months. It really affected me and I struggled to deal with it. Whenever I try to open up about how I feel, I am being told that am not the first person to loose a child or a pregnancy besides most people have lost up to 7. We are all different and we deal with things differently. Presently I am pregnant and am still not okay but am trying as much as possible to be positive and prayerful, but some days I loose it. I really need genuine friends, someone I can talk to, am in a town where I don’t have friends, just my husband.

    1. We can be friends. Am the anon up there.mine was postpartum anxiety and depression

    2. Yeah sure, that will be great!

    3. Have u tried stitching up your cervix? Cerclage?

    4. @blackberry, I did that at 13 weeks, I have been on bed rest, though I try to go to work at least twice a week.

    5. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m glad you’re still positive and in control. May you deliver safely.

    6. I understand what you're going through especially about people comparing other cases to yours, they don't understand people are different. I'm in tears typing this. I lost my 2 months pregnancy due to job stress as false accusations were laid against me and I am the type that worries a lot. Three days later I lost my beautiful job that even I was envious of all because my boss wanted his town's person to fill up my space and knowing I didn't have backing, he spewed a lot a lies against me and was asked to resign without defending the accusations laid against me. I took time to heal emotionally and took in again after 5 months. 3 months later I lost my pregnancy again. I am so distruct and I cry in secret lest I'm seen as a broken record. I have been actively job hunting with still no show. My daily routine is to wake up, say my prayers, cry, shower, send out my cvs, cry again,eat, read books, cry yet again and sleep. Tomorrow is the same thing. I try to be positive, I do but sometimes the feelings just overwhelm me and I let go...its crazy. All of these happening in my first year of marriage. I try not to share my feelings with my husband as I know he is also grieving silently and I don't want him overworked with me. I am slowly approaching the edge of being depressed if I'm not there already. I waiting for Time to heal and for things to get better... I go for regular checkouts with my Gynae but I am not in a haste to get pregnant again, if it comes, it comes.

    7. @jill am so sorry for your loss, you will definitely carry your rainbow baby. Why don’t you try and share your feelings with your husband, you both can heal together. I pray that God will grant you your earnest heart desires! Please stop crying and have faith.

  4. God bless you for this.
    I battled depression too. I needed help but there was nowhere to turn to but God came through for me. Our government has a lot to do.
    Aren't there private individuals who have studied psychology enough to come up with help centers??? One day we'll get there...

  5. And some Nigerians say that money can get you anything?

  6. depression depression.well stated and emphasized on
    what makes it even more deadly is that the people involved are even too depressing to seek for rehab treatment.they feel they are all on their own and that d best way to end it is through sucide .May God help as many as they are suffering from depression.Amen

  7. Hmmmm life sha....all about ups and downs.. falling and day sha... everyone go dey alright...

  8. What if you don't have someone you truly trust not selling you out

  9. Aha, welcome back, missed your posts. Congratulations on your exam. There's a meme I once saw that said something like "telling people who are clinically depressed to loosen up and enjoy life is like telling someone with asthma attack to sit up and take in air"... As bad as the mental health system is in Nigeria, there are still good practicing practitioners. Cheers!

  10. You can't trust ANYONE here in Nigeria to speak with. It's terrible. Sometimes you just need a stranger you could speak with that won't judge you or mock.

    Congratulations and may you attain greater heights. Welcome back, i miss reading your column.

  11. Hello, I'm a doctor in mental health department in a government hospital. Pls do not believe that mental facilities are like ancient mental asylums. Feel free to go to any teaching hospital and ask for the mental health department if there's anything that is threatening your sound mind(Or even any hospital for directive from their doctors), they are nice clean places that attend to people on time. I don't know about the tradomed places.

  12. I was very depressed over the past few years and finally lost my senses completely last year. I ran mad. Alcohol cigarette and drugs was all I was taking as I did not have appetite to eat. I spent 2 and a half months at the yaba rehab but glory be to God I am perfectly stable now. The doctors there are quite strict but they know their job perfectly well. Please if depressed check in early to that hospital no big deal about it..The earlier the better,Some of our top celebrities pop in there once a while for drugs and checkups, Not everybody you see around is mentally balanced . God bless you.

  13. hmmmm.... depression is a disease ooo most especially ifyou dont hv any one to talk to.
    may God meet us at the point of need.


  14. Please say Hi on watsapp if you need a stranger to talk to,you don't even have to tell me your name!!
    I wish I could get a course/something on counselling;


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