finance and mental health

Mental Health Issues Resulting From Financial Insecurities and Poor Parental Guidance

Some often associate wealth and richness to wellness and, good health which is not all correct. I have seen people who have it all being depressed. like i have seen others who can afford all mean types being diabetic. its not the status. and we have to stop holding life until we get to a certain level of ‘society approved’.


Job security, a sense of control of work, and social support at work are factors supporting the mental health of employees. Social capital is the quality of social relationships within societies or communities, including community networks, Civic engagement, sense of belonging, and norms of cooperation and trust. Conversely, poverty, financial problems, and social deprivation are major socio-economic risk factors for mental health problems and disorders.

Parenting, Financial Status and Mental Health 

Relatively high frequencies of common mental disorders are associated with poor education, material disadvantage, and unemployment from poor parental guidance. Suicide is more common in areas of high socio-economic deprivation, social fragmentation, and unemployment. Increasing income inequality has been linked to increased suicide rates. The greater vulnerability of the disadvantaged people in each community of mental health problems may be explained by such factors as the experience of insecurity and hopelessness, poor education, unemployment, indebtedness, lower well-being, social isolation, and poor housing.

The foundations of good health are laid during pregnancy, infancy, and childhood. We live in a society where the level of education and exposure to skills is believed to guarantee you a successful career or an established business translating to better living conditions. which is not always the case at the end. These grounds should be set straight at an early age. Some of these foundations are; 

  • Abstaining from alcohol, substance use, and smoking during pregnancy promotes a healthy start in life.
  • Protection from childhood neglect and negative life events promotes mental health.
  • Feeling respected, valued, and supported, high-quality parenting and a positive relationship with an adult promote positive mental health and resilience.
  • Mental health is promoted by holistic preparation for life in preschools and schools by providing social and emotional learning opportunities.

Unsurprisingly, substantial research has revealed that people who experience unemployment, impoverishment, and family disruptions are at significantly greater risk of mental health problems, such as depression, alcohol use disorders, and suicide compared to their unaffected counterparts.

Men, Mental Health and Financial Crisis

Men especially are at increased risk of mental health problems and death due to suicide or alcohol use during times of economic adversity. Unemployment contributes to depression and suicide, and young unemployed people have a higher risk of getting mental health problems than young people who remain employed. Evidence indicates that debt financial difficulties and housing payment problems lead to mental health problems. The more debt people have, the more likely they are to have stress and mental disorders overall. People trying to elevate themselves and they don’t have the capability or they lack motivation, sometimes it’s challenging; either positively or negatively. To some, positively, one would take any job to earn what they need whereas some in a negative they could involve in thug-life, hacking banks, hijacking people and asking for ransoms, or corruption; which is not the reason to justify these means of surviving.

Money and Mental Health 

Money itself is a form of security. It is a necessary evil that fools all of us for better living standards and ‘better health’. One feels secured and at ease with life, everything, and everybody.

Some often associate wealth and richness to good health which is not all correct. I have seen people who have it all being depressed. like i have seen others who can afford all mean types being diabetic. its not the status. and we have to stop holding life until we get to a certain level of ‘society approved’.

Poverty brings about stress and depressions which leads to mental health problems. Of course, when you cannot afford a daily bread or medical insurance for yourself and your loved ones, everything we have tends to be meaningless.

Affluent friends who tempt us with their posh lifestyles give depression and hence bringing about mental health disturbance to their colleague.

Comparison to age difference especially those who made it in life also brings about this lack of sense of belonging whereby one can’t associate themselves with poor parents.

Confident person

5 Conversational Behaviors Of A Confident Person

Confident person

Confident People Outwork Themselves

5 Conversational Behaviors Of A Confident Person

1. They focus in making statements other than asking questions

“I would appreciate if you come up again” ↔ “could you come up again?”

“I am going to the stores” ↔ “Can I go to the stores?”

“Grab me the marker” ↔ “would you grab me the marker?”

Having to convert all the questions in your mind to statements might somehow feel weird. However, there are some ways that you may play with the tone of saying them making them more palatable. It is also affectionate to give a smile when one does the desired request.

2. They never qualifies themselves when they are speaking

Qualifying statements are like, “this is the reason…” “what I meant was…” “in my opinion…” etc are qualifying answers. It sends the message that, although you know what you are saying, you are not certain about your statements.

When misinterpreted, non-qualifying answers may seem rude although makes you confident about the message you are driving home.

3. In most cases they are comfortable in silence and feel no pressure to speak Workplace conflict Workplace conflict

When in a conversation, the confident person allows others time to speak and drive their point. They are active listeners. They take this time to understand and collect their thoughts. They don’t throw their statements in conversations without thinking about what they are about to say. Their motivation is not on what people might say of the delay to speak but on what they are trying to say.

Have you ever been in an argument with someone and this person pauses, sits in silence just listening or pretending to listen? Either way. How did you feel? Panic? Or did you keep talking? Confident people have no pressure to speak and are known to pause the conversations.

4. They have no quiver in their voice; they say it clear and their way

Have you ever been in a situation you are delivering a talk and people asked you to speak up? It means that you were not driving your ideas in a confident dimension. What your tone says is, “ my points are not good enough to be heard.” It might not be in your conscious thought, but keep in mind that this id how your tone is interpreted.

Confident people tend to be loud and clear while giving their speech. Don’t mistake loud and aggressive. Confident people are calm in their talks.

5. They never provide unasked explanations

Have you ever said something, maybe it was a little too risky or ambiguous, then made an explanation without anyone asking you? Yes, me too. One of the things that the confident people don’t do is explaining their statements without anyone asking or if they don’t want to. They only give explanations when someone asks, which then depends on the context or the relationship with the person asking. Keep in mind that your cognition behind a decision is entirely your property and no one is entitled to it. Confident people tend to have mastered this skill more.

7 Hormones That Lead To Weight Gain And How To Control Them

In most cases, weight gain is equally associated with overeating and unhealthy eating. However, it can be caused by several hormones going bonkers. To the majority of us, gaining weight is simple and does not equal to losing weight.
A number of triggers such as genes, stress, age, and lifestyle cause hormonal imbalances leading to weight gain or even obesity.
The food and mood team at has come identified 8 hormones that have proved to cause imbalances in the body causing weight gain. Besides, we present various ways to keep these hormones under control. Keep reading!


Which Hormones Cause Weight Gain And How Do We Control Them?

1. Insulin 



Insulin is one of the hormones secreted by the pancreas and helps in transporting glucose to other cells to supply energy or as storage as fats. Thus, regulating blood glucose levels.

Excessive intake of unhealthy snacks, alcohol, processed foods, and artificially sweetened beverages causes the body to develop insulin resistance. When this happens, the muscles fail to recognize the glucose-bound insulin resulting in high amounts of glucose remaining in your bloodstream. This leads to an increase in blood sugar levels causing a weight increase and diabetes type 2.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Start simple exercises and give it at least 4-5 hours per week. The exercise can include morning or evening walks, runs or jogs, rope jumping, etc.
  • Increase your water intake. You can start with at least 3 to 4 liters of water daily
  • Improve your levels of omega 3 fatty acids. This can be improved by introducing nuts, olive oil, fatty fish, or flaxseed to your diet.
  • Increase your consumption of green leafy vegetables and fruits. This can be achieved by getting the seasonal fruits and vegetables.


2. Testosterone



It’s basically referred to as a male hormone as it is produced in large amounts by men; however, it is also secreted by women. Its main functions are assisting in fat burning, strengthening muscles and bones, and libido improvement.

High stress and aging cause a significant decline in hormone testosterone in women leading to loss of muscle mass, bone density, and obesity.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Exercise or work out more often. This improves the testosterone levels
  • Take protein supplements
  • Reduce or avoid alcohol intake
  • Introduce high fiber foods in your diet such as whole grains, flaxseed, or pumpkin seeds.


3. Thyroid Hormones


The thyroid gland; located at the base of your neck produces hormones T3, T4, and Calcitonin which are all responsible for maintaining metabolism in your body.

Limited production of these hormones is referred to as hypothyroidism which is associated with weight gain due to excessive accumulation of water instead of fat making you appear fat.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Take vitamin D supplements
  • Avoid raw vegetables and have more well-cooked foods
  • Consume foods that are rich in zinc such as pumpkin seeds and oysters.
  • Eat iodized salts


4. Progesterone


The levels of both progesterone and estrogen in the body are supposed to be balanced for normal functioning. However, at times the progesterone levels increase due to a variety of reasons. These factors include; birth control pills, stressing situations, menopause, among others. This can in turn lead to depression and weight gain.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Practice meditation
  • Try to avoid or minimize stress
  • Have regular exercises


5. Estrogen


Commonly known as the female sex hormone. Estrogen imbalances in your body lead to weight gain where high levels of estrogen are caused by an estrogen rich diet or overproduction of the same.

An increase in estrogen production in your body stresses the insulin production cells making it resistant to insulin. This causes an increase in blood sugar/glucose levels in the body resulting in weight gain.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Eat more of whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetable
  • Exercise more regularly
  • Avoid consumption of processed meat
  • Avoid alcohol intake


6. Ghrelin

Also known as the hunger hormone and secreted primarily by the stomach. Ghrelin increases the deposition of fats and also stimulates appetite. There is a high secretion of ghrelin when you follow a fasting or a strict diet plan.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Ensure you eat after every 2 to 3 hours
  • Drink around 2 glasses of water 20 to 30 minutes before a meal
  • Introduce more fresh fruits, proteins, and vegetables in your diet


7. Leptin


Leptin is a hormone that inhibits hunger and also regulates body energy balance. When we eat more foods high in sugars, the excess sugars in the form of fructose are converted to fats and deposited in various body organs. These fats cells in turn secrete leptin.

On excessive secretion, the body gets desensitized to leptin causing the brain to stop producing signals of satisfaction with food.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Consume more of dark green leafy vegetables
  • Stay away from processed foods
  • Have enough sleep; the recommended is 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day
  • Avoid foods that are high in sugars and specially processed sugars.


When not all of us are familiar with these hormones, we are pretty sure that you are now aware of what hormone causes your weight gain and probably how to control it. We are always happy to engage with you in the comment section


5 Important Things That Do Not Matter In Life

Have you ever scheduled a meeting with yourself and thought of the puzzle of life and all that happens around us? Or even ever thought the significance of all the things happening around us and others really pressuring us out? Here are some of the top 5 things that don’t matter in life though always driving us really crazy;

  1. Name Brand Clothes- to be honest, is there anyone that cares about the brand of clothes? In my opinion, what matters most is that the cloth on your skin fits and looks good. That’s the first thing you always consider before purchasing. For women color matters most as you will have to figure out you will color block or match to what outfit. To men, that is a non-issue, as long as it looks good and fits well. In my opinion, there is no point in spending $80 on a single pair of pants when you can get the exact same pants for $25.

2. Sex- for many years, most people have insisted that humans are naturally polygamous. If at all what the majority believe is true, then sex is not really a big deal, and we should all be in the idea of sharing each other. Or what is your take on that?

istock image

istock image

3. Celebrity News- the media of our generation does a ‘pretty good job’ of embellishing the little things done by our socialites. But come to think of it, what do the Instagram models add to our day to day lives. Our celebrities should be there to entertain us and not set the beauty and lifestyle standards. What Vera Sidika or Huda wore in their vacation in Dubai is totally useless information.

alarmy stock photo

alarmy stock photo

4. Your Life’s Achievements- at the end of it all, our clock in the universe is always ticking and time will eventually come to pass. Regrettably, we shall never be able to carry all that we spend our life building on earth past this point. What will matter most at the end of your time is not your possessions or accomplishments but whether you have to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

5. You- to more than 99.99% of the global population, you are simply an entity in their reality. You really don’t matter to them until the day you will become some sort of presence in their lives. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

How Do I Start A Conversation About Mental Health? The Best Way To Start A Mental Health Conversation

How Do I Start A Conversation About Mental Health? The Best Way To Start A Mental Health Conversation

There is no special training or a skill that is you need to start a conversation on mental health– and most often, just talking about it is the most important step you can make in efforts to understand where the other person stands with their mental health, offering them the requires support or treatment if need be.

Here are a few batons you can use for having meaningful conversations with those around you.

1. Let people know you are much willing to engage in conversations regarding mental health

Try to connect

Try to connect

The coolest and coolest way of doing this is opening up about yourself. Even if you have not had a mental health issue in your life, you have had some down moments or some forms of physical pain. Think about in the same way you were in physical pain or emotional stress. Allow the conversation to flow naturally, the same way you would engage with someone with physical pain.

You can also start the conversation like, “I have had struggles in my life. I opened up to someone and it helped me in a big way.”

 A casual example as the one above gives has a strong impact and assures the other person that you are a safe person to talk to and they can always reach you for help in the future when they are ready to open up.

2. What are some of the things to say to someone you suspect might be struggling?

If you suspect someone is suffering in silence, trust your guts. You can speak to them privately. You can start with a care expression and follow up with an observation.

You can let them know that you care and add that you have noticed some changes in recent days. Or let them know that you notice their lately frustration, or follow up on asking how they are doing.

You can also teach yourself to normalize mental health topics by asking them directly.

For instance, “is what that is happening at work stressing you out? I have noted that you barely have some off time these days”


“I just wonder if you feel overawed by all that is happening in your family”

Statements like above basically shows that you get it, it is normal and much okay to be overwhelmed in response to life challenges.

3. You don’t have to give the perfect timing

Focus on Their Trust

Focus on Their Trust

In some cases, you may not be in a position to speak to someone immediately you notice the struggle. However, it is wise if you circle back some time soon. Again, it is not wise to wait for several days to pass.

Creating space at times is the safest thing to do. However, when you decide to talk to them, give a signal that you are free to have a conversation when the right time for them comes.

4. What happens if they hesitate?

In some cases, the other person might be worried or feel that sharing what they feel is a burden to others. It is good you give assurance for your support and care. Show them that you are ready to listen.

5. What if the person feels comfortable talking to someone else?

You can suspect that the person is free talking to someone else and not you. In this case, you can offer help to connect them to them.

You can also inquire from them if there is any change it makes when they talk to you and ask if there is a person they would feel comfortable talking to.

6. What do you do if they tell you they are having a really hard time?

First, give an assurance that it is much okay to talk and you are ready to listen.

Remind them that everyone goes through tough periods in their lives. You can say in your own words, “let me remind you that we all go through difficult situations and we come out of these situations. Because you are going through hard times does not mean you will always have it rough.”

After they know they can go through the dark places with you, ask for more details about the situation.

Depending on the situation, you can either recommend counseling sessions, or mental health professional.

7. How do you wind down the conversation?


Conclude by reiterating about how glad you are for the chance to connect on deeper grounds in meaningful matters of life. Remind them that we all go through challenges in life from time to time and let them know that you are you will continue to be there to support them.

However, don’t stop there, follow up, and show care and support. This gives them the assurance that you are were and still is a “safe” person to speak to.

6 Quotes on Mental Health Awareness

Quotes on Mental Health 

1. “It is Mental Health Awareness Month. Check out all the possible self care activities that you can do for your mental wellness”-

Quote on Mental Health Awareness-

Quote on Mental Health Awareness-

2. “Mental health can make you unstable but you are still able. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. you will soon win”-

Quote On Mental Health-

Quote On Mental Health-

3. “You spend most of your life inside your head. Make it a nice place to be.”

Mental illness-

Quote on Mental Wellness-

4. “Let’s normalize mental health topics as we have normalized physical health topics. There can not be physical health without mental health”-

quote on mental health awareness-

Quote on Mental Health Awareness-


5. “doing small things for yourself throughout the day can actually improve your mood”-

self-care quote

Quote On Self-Care-

7 mental health challenges faced by single moms

7 Mental Health Challenges Single Moms Face & Tips To Cope With Them

7 mental health challenges faced by single moms

image courtesy:

The number of single moms rises every hour day in day out where they keep their heads held high on occasion for their children. Regrettably, most single moms don’t seek for help and never buy the idea of them needing help.


In some single moms, stress does pile up and create mental health challenges. Some others struggling with depression and PSTD, and others self-medicating with unhealthy methods. gathered the most common mental health challenges faced by single mothers daily and tips for coping with these challenges;

1. Unending Conflict With Your EX

Divorce or even separations are always tough to go through, but ongoing conflict with the father of your child erodes you as a single mom. Some of the challenges the single mothers from the Ex are; bullying, violation of the divorce agreements, manipulation, and conflict over child support.

2. Deprivation Of Sleep

Most single mothers never get enough sleep. Reason? Because the only time you can accomplish much is when your kids are asleep.

Doing the home cleaning, laundry, studies, among other responsibilities limits your rest time when you are a single mom. Lack of enough sleep often affects your ability to cope with other challenges.

3. Financial Insecurity

One of the repercussions of a loss of a partner or even divorce, most single moms frequently become more vulnerable economically. This is especially if you have an unstable income.

Unfortunately, minimum wages and work instability often put the majority of single mothers below the poverty line even when they have full time jobs.

Most of the single mothers end up settling in informal settlements and slums to feed their children. Economic hardships and poverty are highly linked to depression and anxiety cases.

4. Inadequate Self-Care

Not surprisingly, the majority of single mothers rarely take care of themselves neither do they find time for recharging. Reason? As a single mom, you have all your focus on your children and their well being. A ‘getaway’ is just dream for single moms and even finding time for exercise is close to impossible.

Self-care is one of the ways that we as human beings find joy and helps us cope with daily life challenges, unfortunately, most single moms put self-care as last in their to-do list, others it does not appear at all.

5. History Of Abuse

The incidents and cases of domestic violence have constantly increased in society. A noteworthy number of married women seeking support and others are leaving abusive relationships. Although this might be considered a bold move to make, they are carrying with the psychological trauma which may trigger mental stability in women. Domestic violence and sexual abuse is in fact the largest cause of PSTD among women.

6. Weak Support Networks

In most cases, when a woman becomes a single mom; whether by circumstances or choice, her close allies tend to drift away from her when she needs them most. While some friends may choose to pick sides, others feel awkward in relating to the newly single mom reality.

Disconnection from the community gives a single mom or any human being the feelings of hopelessness, empty, and alienation.

7. Stigmatization And Judgment By Society

The society is always quick to judge or stereotype single mothers. Unfortunately, these judgments come any time and from different corners; some from co-workers, your child’s teacher, another parent, neighbors, friends, and even some family members.

For single mothers experiencing the above mental challenges causing stress, here are five tips to help you cope with the situation;

1. Look for your tribe. Try as much as possible to connect with moms whom you share comparable challenges

2. Seek for help. All women, strong and independent need support systems and help now and then. No one is capable of doing it alone.

3. Networking. Build your strong support system of friends, acquaintances, and connections. These support groups can be from the chamas, merry go rounds, spiritual groups, online support groups, etc.

4. Put self-care in reach on your to-do list. You are a gem and you should take care of yourself. It does not have to be expensive, neither does it have to be time-consuming, although very important.

5. Seek professional help. When you feel or discover the pressure is too much or start to show signs of mental health disorders, it is high time to seek professional help.


Mental Health Awareness Month: Is One Month Enough For Mental Health Awareness?

“We need to normalize conversations on psychological pain as we have normalized those of any form of physical pain”

Shareh Wanjau

Mental Health Awareness Month. Do we need a month to for advocating for mental health? My answer should be somehow close or else similar to yours if we belong to the same school of thought in matters regarding health and well being. Every day should be a wellness day and when we talk of wellness; we should include, physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and all forms of factors that attribute to wholesome happiness of you as an individual. Or here is another example, when your stomach hurts, you don’t sit and say to yourself, ‘things will fall into place’ and the pain will just go away. Of course you will try to remember what you have fed your stomach in a fortnight, what you have drunk, sitting and sleeping positions that could agitate your stomach for the past two or three days, the number of washroom visits you have made and so forth. You will even consult your close family and friends on the possible causes of the same, and if they have had the experience. Then rush to the nearest clinic for medication.

Similarly, when feeling stressed or getting depressed, you should not ‘wait for things to fall in place’, one should behave the same way that we behave while in physical pain. Try and remember how your life has been of late, the encounters that may be the result of your current situation; is it from family, relationship, career, education, etc. Try to meditate, talk to close and trusted friends or family, talk to your doctor or a psychiatrist about it, and be open to sharing with the right people and the bright platforms. Be vulnerable to your situation just as you become while trying to seek medication from physical pain. Normalize conversation on psychological pain as you normalize the physical pain.

Earlier this year I visited an old friend of mine, Eugene who happens to own an old coffee shop at the countryside, and we were having these conversations of how time flies and how things have changed in my hometown where he jokes that one day I will not be able to locate my grandpas’ house if I took a year without visiting her and how I might even forget my mother tongue if I spend long in the city. As we had this conversation of how the market is developing and norms are shifting at the reserve areas, a young man enters and stands in the middle of the small coffee shops. He does not say a word to anyone, instead, he starts to count the furniture, I look around and no one seems to be bothered by the young man. He spends around five minutes, Eugene sighs to the waiter, he is handed over a package, and he laughs hysterically, gives a thumb up to Eugene, then leaves waving to the customers.

Me: na huyo ni nani na hako kapakiti kana nini ndani?

(who was that and what is in the small packed given to him)

Eugene: ooh John? ni kijana rika yako na babake ni rafiki ya baba yako. Anakuja hapa three days a week for the past 4 months or so. Kila akija lazima nampea snacks ndio anaenda

(john, he is a young man your age, his father might be a friend of your father. He has been coming here three days a week for the past four months. When he comes he won’t leave unless he gets a snack).

Me: na nini ndo ilimfanyikia?

(and what happened to him?)

Eugene: nikidhani ni madawa tu. Unajua tena nyinyi vijana mnajaribu kila kitu na hamtosheki. John alipelekwa university na wazazi juzi tu, kidogo kidogo nikaskia ako rehab… vijana wa siku hizi wanataka kila kitu mtu badala ya asome atafute kazi kisha mpenzi na watoto. Asiye funzwa na mamaye hufunzwa na ulimwengu.

(I guess it is just drug addiction. You youths of nowadays try everything and never get contented. John was a university student and then I heard he is in rehab… youths want all, instead of getting educated, then a job and then a partner and children)

Me: that’s sad of him and his family

Eugene: lakini pia inaeza kuwa ni vitu mingi sana zinachangia, maybe kurogwa, ama madawa za kulevya huko Nairobi, masomo mingi ama izo zote. Sababu amekuwa tu na mashida utotoni mwake. Naskianga kuruka akili inatokana na vitu mingi kama izo. Na John ako na kila kitu kwa sababu ni kijana wa pekee . sijui kwa nini anajiingiza kwa mambo kama haya.

(but still, it can result from different factors, maybe h was bewitched, or drugs from the city, reading too much or all three. He has been behaving abnormally since childhood. I hear mental illness results from many things. John has everything that he would need I don’t know why he involves himself in such behaviors)

Me: lakini unajua watu wanagonjeka kisukari ilhali wana chakula kingi wanaeza kula kuzuia kisukari

(but you know people still get diabetic and they have lots of food they can eat to prevent diabetes)

As we had this conversation with my old friend, I could not help but imagine how many people we have in Kenya and similar setups in Africa who still believe that mental illness must be as a result of drugs, witchcraft, and other cultural practices. Because Eugene explains John as a kid with a troubled childhood which explains he has been having a mental disorder from a tender age.

I could not help but think of people who have been through the same situation as John but could not get help at an early age since their parents or guardian live to have no information and the society they live in lack the information about mental health all the same.

Mental illnesses affect around 19% of the adults, 46% of adults and 13% of children in a population every year. However, less than half of this population seeks for help. People suffering from mental health maybe your families, your friends, neighbors next door, next sit in a PSV or the train, same church or mosque, or maybe your colleague at work.

The month of May is the Mental Health Awareness Month, will be going through a different mental disorder each day, and work with professionals for support and reliability of the information that we share.  

Always interested in your experiences, comments, and thoughts…

Addiction And Mental Health: Why Drugs And Substance Abuse Is Not The Answer To Your Mental Health

When you are going through hard times, the use of drugs and alcohol can be tempting as one of the ways to help you cope with your situation. Most of these drugs are addictive substances and you may not realize when addiction is knocking, especially when you have underlying mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. This makes the recovery even harder as they make the existing conditions worse. When you have both mental health issues and substance abuse, it is called dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder.

In normal circumstances, dealing with alcoholism or substance abuse is not an easy process, and it makes it more difficult when you are struggling with mental health problems. In dual diagnosis both the substance or alcohol addiction and mental health issue symptoms may get in the way directly affecting your inability to function normally;

  • maintaining stable relations with friends and family
  • maintaining a stable home and work-life
  • handle general life challenges
  • ability to function in school

If the condition goes untreated, the co-occurring disorders may affect each other making your situation worse; the mental health problem gets worse and the substance abuse increases. If you are already in it, you are not alone, co-occurring disorders are more than people realize, however it is good when you avoid the situation when you can. Below are reasons why substance use does not answer to your mental health;

1. Running away from your problem does not solve. Using alcohol and other addictive drugs to avoid your fears and problems is not the answer. Moreover you cannot keep on a run forever, circumstances will eventually force you to come back and clean your ‘house’. Do some justice and save yourself the heartaches and time by confronting your fears now rather than later. Avoid postponing what can be done today.

2. Co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. This is a mental health disorder that results when one is diagnosed with both alcohol or substance addiction and mental health issues at the same time. Dual diagnosis mostly affects individuals with anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, and depressions. However, it can occur in people with other mental disorders too. Alcohol and substance abuse makes mental health situations hard to treat and manage since both conditions affect each other.

3. Alcohol and substance abuse are bad for your health. People die every day from drugs and alcohol addictions; some are directly affected due to cases such as overdose while others are due to prolonged impacts on their health. Regardless of what you may have in your mind, drugs and substance abuse will only add more problems to your current mental situation.

4. You are only likely to make things worse and more difficult than they are. Drugs and alcohol abuse makes the situation more complicated. Stand out and learn how to cope with your mental health situation right away and with the right process.

5. You may not learn how to manage your mental issues or problems. When you deal with your mental stresses and fears while sober, there is a likelihood of improvement in every step you make. You are in a position to discovering your fears and answers to your anxiety while a sober person making sober decisions to help you manage in case the situation occurs in the future.

6. Talk to a former addict. If you are still convinced that drugs and substance abuse is the answer to your current mental condition, then it is good if you get to talk to someone who has been down the same lane and recovered. A sober addict may be the best option to give you a clear picture of their mental health and drug and substance or alcohol addiction.

7. Seeking professional help is the best option. It is good to have in mind that there are lots of professionals attending the same issues that you are facing at the moment, a lot of people in the same situation that you are in and there is nothing wrong in seeking assistance whenever in need. Seeking professional health when you are battling mental health conditions the most courageous and generous thing you can ever do to yourself and your loved ones as well. Talk to a counselor or a psychiatrist who will increase your chances of getting better.

Am I The Only One Who Is Not “Doing Fine” In Lock-down And Isolation? Emotional Stability Amid The Pandemic

“Surrendering is not letting off hope, it is making peace with the present situation or acceptance of what is happening …”

Shareh Wanjau

We are coming to a conclusion to the fact that the pandemic situation will last longer perhaps than we possibly anticipated or what we were told. There are a lot of emotions, mental challenges and lifestyle drift that come with that. And there are lots of people around me that I know and some in my own like; normally they have no issues with motivation or positive energy as some may call it. Feeling apathetic, feeling zero motivated, feeling helpless. Others feel that they should be super productive at times when they are like five times busy. And more so the anxiety that we feel, anger, uncertainty that we may feel either consciously or unconsciously is a lot more draining. And many of us wonder “why do I feel tired when actually I am doing almost nothing productive?”

And when I go through the social media, I come across these random comments such as; why are people making this such a big deal? Am not feeling bad at all”, ‘this is the best time ever”, “what are people worried?”, “Is this bad?”, or “am enjoying this time”. I find these comments emotionally numb to the situation, some of us are in denial of the emotional experiences with the situation or lack of empathy.

Yesterday I was on a run and I came by this open small restaurant in my neighborhood; it is small but always busy in the normal days. The hotel was empty so I stand by the door;


Hotelier: good evening, kindly wash your hands and feel free to take a seat. Unajua siku hizi hakuna kusalimiana na mkono na vile sisi waKenya twapenda salamu

(you know these days handshake is as lethal and we Kenyans love handshakes)

Me: (after the hand wash) ata sikuwa niketi, nimeona mmefungua na masaa ya curfew inakaribia nikafikiria niingie nione nini mnauza

(it was just passing by and I noticed an open restaurant and the curfew hour is approaching, so I thought it is good I see what you have)

Hotelier: we are trying and still making things. We may have everything you may need from breakfast snacks, food, and drinks. We are also offering outside catering with free delivery to your homes, if you want it customized you can just place your order by call, email or message.

As I hear this guy talk, my heart breaks because businesses like these are usually hard to manage even when they are easy and even when everything is good and on normal days. And when I remember the comments people say we have this or there are people, who are having it worse,’ this is the greatest time ever’. I get a lot more frustrated when someone expresses their emotion or mental situation amid pandemic and the comments below are reminding how they should be grateful and so on. But we have to allow people their truth, their suffering and acknowledge humanity.

This will not be a marathon, we are going to have next week and the week after, next month and probably the month after and if you push harder, you may experience burnout before we get halfway through. We have to set more modest ideas, for mental health, our physical well-being, our loved ones and the community. I don’t claim to have this figured out, but I have been helpless before, below are some of the ideas I think can help deal with the confusing emotions;


1. Surrender 

Surrendering is not letting off hope, it is making peace with the present situation or acceptance of what is happening. Part of this is a problem that we cannot fix and thus making you uncomfortable. Whenever you feel the urge to fight back, imagine yourself like this child who is angry because the parent denies her sweets, she cries kicks and all sorts of things but still the parent does not bother. Soon she gives in after realizing there is nothing else to do. We all going to have our screaming and kicking moments, but it is good when we finally surrender and be okay with the situation.

In contrast, hope is always a good thing in a situation like this. It is good to be hopeful that maybe a few weeks from now everything will be back to normal. But by now we know that everything that we are being told is just as an estimate. No one knows what to happen next or when this lock-down will be over. The goal post of when this is going to end keeps being moved and living in hope at the moment of when the whole thing changes or gets to normal stops you from making peace with the moment. It keeps you in a perpetual waiting for life, “I will be happy when all this is over”, “I will do this when things get back to normal”. And when the authority figure says, they will push the terms to another time, the reaction to that is a huge pain, anguish, and disappointment.


2. Focus on the emotional and not circumstantial component

The circumstantial component of the pandemic varies from a person to another. It can be loss of a job, lack of mobility freedom or a breakup, whereby you may have little to no influence or power to manipulate.

The emotional component is the bigger part and you may have the power or be in a position to manipulate. When you look at the whole situation as an enemy, you might feel bitter and depressed, more so you may develop stress or anxiety. It is here and already happening, the situation you are in, accept it as an old friend and a companion. Yesterday was a social distancing, loneliness or quarantine, so it is today, tomorrow, possibly next week. Just make friends with it.


3. Place pain in a larger context

You can take this experience as a lesson teaching you on something in the future, you can use this opportunity as a time to learn some new skills. We may never have this ever in the lifetime. Not that it is a good thing, but we can utilize it. It is a different kind of pain reminding us humans from whenever we are that we are adaptable. Maybe you have never learned how to be adaptable and this is the time to learn and realize how adaptable you can be and nothing wrong with this.

Always interested in your experiences, comments and thoughts….