09 Dec 2019

Depression in the Cameroon Entertainment Industry

Depression in the Cameroon Entertainment Industry is on the rise, but has become a silent taboo and a venerated phenomenon.

Entertainers in Cameroon spend more than half of their lives making sure we are happy. Musicians, actors, comedians, models etc. all put their very best in keeping us entertained. However, this relationship is one-sided, as most of these entertainers are yet to confidently attest they are as happy as we are. Beneath the glitz and glamour, there lies the dark side of the Cameroon Entertainment Industry, one that pushes entertainers down the abyss of depression.

We have witnessed some artists who crashed and burned right in front of us. Some have made considerable efforts to bounce back. Others, however, have remained in denial and prefer to douse the pain with partying, social media and drugs. This brings us to the question; why is there so much depression in the Cameroon Entertainment Industry?

The primal issue begins with career orientation and choice. In other countries where the Entertainment Industry is well organized, there is little backlash from family members when someone decides to be a comedian. In countries like Cameroon, where the Industry is still attracting investors, there’s nothing funny in telling your parents you want to be a comedian. That announcement will need an emergency family meeting.

This conflict already becomes a problem, as you are torn between your family and your passion. You might have enormous talent, but nothing beats having the support of those you love. Even if you succeed to cross this stage, you enter the world of pressure. As a budding entertainer, there is a huge amount of pressure to be recognized. Most people are unwilling to put in their fair share of work, and look for shortcuts to achieve fame. If you work hard and get the recognition, it become even more difficult to maintain the fame and power that comes with the new plateau.

This pressure, when experienced over a period, transcends into depression. Entertainers will confirm to being under pressure for so long, that they fall into depression. Depression manifests itself in various ways. Most entertainers, when depressed, lash out on social media. They become unnecessarily violent, defensive, jumpy and loud. This is just a defense mechanism that protects them from being vulnerable.

This defense mechanism protects them from vulnerabilities that render them insecure. In order to mask this insecurity that is evoked by depression, they also engage in excessive partying, showing off and heavy reliance on mind-altering substances (drugs and alcohol). Unfortunately, this slow and steady descent into self-destruction is applauded by their fans, who regard the trend as being “cool”.

In the end, entertainers fall into depression, and fail to climb out of the pit of despair. However, all hope is not lost. Entertainers need to understand the difference between passion and profession, and need to stick with those who can help their careers grow. One way of avoiding depression as an entertainer is to check the people you “roll” with. Your clique is your entertainment family, and they have great influence over your actions. If you keep people around you who accept your wrong actions, you will always do the wrong things, and end up being depressed.

Finally, entertainers should understand the concept of growth. Fame achieved through dubious means will only force you down dark paths. Put in the desired work, understand it’s ok to fail, and never forget to grow gradually. The U.S has had many suicide related deaths in the entertainment industry. We do not have to reach that point.  A healthy mind, a healthy body, a healthy community.

At LouChat, we help you understand, manage and prevent depression, so that you can reach your full potentials. We provide information on depression, including symptom checklists in order to advocate for positive change, and a better deal for people experiencing anxiety, depression and suicide risk. Also, we enhance the effectiveness of our therapy to help you evolve. Contact us now to get started!

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