With each passing day, Kenyans are increasingly becoming anxious, lonely, confused, stressed, helpless and angry.
61 percent of Kenyans reported feeling lonely, 52 percent feel helpless and 33 percent feel angry. This is according to a survey conducted by Infotrak which revealed that 81 percent of the Kenyan population feel anxious and stressed about what is happening.
The coronavirus pandemic which has crippled the world is only making things worse and the daily rising Covid-19 positive cases is making what was a bad situation worse.
It’s a fact that the Coronavirus has disrupted many lives across the globe and Kenya is no exception. In the words of Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary depression is “a silent, invisible killer that is affecting our nation and the globe.”
Covid-19 had especially been brutal “in ways untold.” to vulnerable groups such as escorts and people with mental health whom many live from hand to mouth and don’t know where their next meal will come from and what tomorrow might bring.
Such stressful living conditions worsened by Covid-19 containment measures including curfew, cessation of movement, social-distancing, wearing of masks, washing of hands, and sanitizing, put in place by the government is driving many Kenyans to the wall.
“Such measures can produce a wide range of psychological effects, including post-traumatic stress symptoms, depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance misuse,” says Dr. Habil Otanga, a lecturer at the Department of Psychology, UoN who was quoted by Daily Nation.
Dr. Otanga adds that “overwhelming feelings of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation, and frustration are related to poor mental health outcomes.”
Men on the Receiving End
Kenyan men are having it rough and many are slowly falling into depreciation at an alarming rate. In the past decade, cases of suicide in the country have shot up to hit 58 percent with data showing that more men are likely to die through suicide than women.
So what could be bedeviling Kenyan men to go to such extreme ends? According to Victor Khamisi, a mental health advocate the problem could lie on the extensive burden of masculinity. In African societies Men are often seen as immune to and devoid of feelings or expressing emotions. As such they are forced to bottle up everything they undergo and have no channel to vent out their frustrations in a healthy way.
“Men are constantly stigmatized and seen as superhuman. However, when left alone, men battle serious trauma that leads to depression and in some extreme cases, suicide. I know this because I have experienced it before,” he said.
How to Spot Depression and Step in to Help
Depression is mainly characterized by the onset of low moods or loss of interest in usual activities. This is accompanied by other behavior including changes in appetite or weight, changes in sleep quality and quantity, excessive guilt, sense of worthlessness or hopelessness, irritability, and often suicidal thoughts or behavior.
To effectively tackle male depression, Psychiatrists advice men should be encouraged to talk freely about their feelings. Shedding a tear or two when things get tough also won’t kill a man and actually goes a long way to make them feel better at the end of the day. Research has found that in addition to being self-soothing, shedding emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins. These chemicals make people feel good and may also ease both physical and emotional pain.
Psychiatrist Lukoye Atwoli opines depression in men requires keen observation, noting that it is crucial for people to familiarize themselves with the diagnostic criteria in persons presenting with symptoms.
“Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek a consultation with a mental health professional. Depression is treatable and most people are able to continue with their normal life after treatment,” he said.
How to Beat Loneliness
In these trying times of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s only normal for a lot of people to feel alone. One doesn’t, however, have to throw their hands in the air in despair. There are a couple of things you can do to lessen the boredom. Being active and losing yourself to your hobby will make time pass and keep you engaged. Simply because you’re stuck at home, life is at a standstill and business is slow is no reason to coil yourself into a ball and spend your days basking in this coronavirus pandemic misery.
You can also make an effort to look for online companionship and enjoy chatting and even sexting with them. Yes! You can still hire escorts during coronavirus, but only if you are safe. Exotic Kenya is one such site where you can easily hook up with escorts at the safety of your home. Covid-19 is not sexually transmitted and so transmission through vaginal and anal sex is not possible.
However, kissing is very risky since the disease spreads through respiratory droplets so take caution.207