Neck Up, Check Up

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Fit is the new sexy, fit fam, clean eating amongst other new vocabularies are fast becoming the mainstay of the online community. The fear of ‘sudden death’ has also made Nigerians more aware of the need for a regular checkups, checking their blood pressure and sugar or better still trying to keep them low.

However, there is an aspect of checkup that is often neglected,-“THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CHECKUP”.


No definition can be all encompassing, but we have three aspect of our personality, our thought, feelings and behavior. The way an individual perceives events around him/her determine the associated feelings and behavior. A positive thought brings positive feelings and positive behavior. However, when dysfunction set in among any of this component, then psychological problems develop.

Such problem usually create distress for the individual, (e.g inability to sleep), impairs their social, occupational, marital functioning or creates distress for others e.g. the relatives.

To bring about normalcy, then psychological checkup become imperative.

Just like any other disease, there are vulnerable populations.


  1. Those who experience uncontrollable and intrusive thoughts that is distressing to them leading to impair functioning and normal sleep pattern.
  2. People who have low self-esteem, and the belief or feelings that they are inferior to others.
  3. People who has difficulty initiating sleep, and has present and past history of suicidal ideation and attempt.
  4. Individual who experience constant and recurrent fears and has difficulties performing in the public.
  5. Adolescent and adults with history of substance abuse – smoking Indian hemp, cigarettes and alcohol, but has the intention to quit but lack the skills.
  6. Those who has difficulty maintaining relationship, or those with history of sexual abuse e.g. rape in childhood.
  7. In addition, children with delayed developmental milestones, especially, those who has delay in neck control, sitting, crawling, standing and walking, such parents needs to quickly access psychological checkup, because delay is dangerous.
  8. People with loss of appetite, loss of interest in once pleasurable activities, or having difficulty in overcoming the trauma associated with the demise of a loved ones.
  9. Those who are unduly suspicious of others, and occasionally has unusual experiences like hearing strange voices or seeing strange things even  when awake
  10. Children and adolescents in schools who are having challenges with their academic performances, can be assessed psychologically through objective assessment of their level of intellectual functioning using tests such as standard progressive matrices or Wechsler intelligence scale for children
  11. Individuals who has phobias such as fear of flying, fear of travelling etc.



Misconceptions surrounding mental illness, with many people believing that their condition has spiritual inclination, hence all sorts of help but the doctors are sought.



A psychiatrist or a psychologist should be sought for this checkup.

Just like most illness, early detection is paramount to management outcomes.

There’s no health without mental wellness


Author’s bio

Mr Akinkunmi Francis is a seasoned psychologist with over 10 years’ experience in psychological assessment and psychotherapy at the Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos. He is very passionate about mental health awareness and psychological well being

Contact: linkedin or E mail:


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