Red Media Africa co-boss, Chude Jideonwo, used to interviewing people, exchanged places with actress Elvina Ibru, to reveal his shocking personal health struggles.
Chude revealed in the interview that he has been struggling secretly with mental illness and Tourette’s Syndrome.
“I feel like my body is not my own,” Jideonwo said in the interview.
The interview was held to mark Jideonwo’s 36th birthday which held on 16 March.
He opened up about his struggle with depression in law school, being diagnosed with high blood pressure as a teenager and living with mental illness.
Recalling the first time he was diagnosed with mental illness, he said, “A doctor in the UK diagnosed me with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and he said to me, ‘So Chude tell me, how long have you *been living with OCD?’ He took it for granted that whatever country I was coming from, I had already been diagnosed with OCD”.
Chude had also been living with a neurological disorder called Tourette’s Syndrome – diagnosed by a different doctor in 2016, who described it as “OCD that has acquired physical and emotional expression”.
“The first physical sign of Tourettes is movement disorders and the second is vocal tics which I used to experience very badly”, said Chude.
“I remember telling the doctor that I don’t feel comfortable in my own body, and that I feel like my body is not my own”, he continued.
When asked to give a word of encouragement to people dealing with Tourette’s or any other medical challenge, Chude said, “Imagine me spending years of my life twitching and doctors are telling me that it’s nothing. Like if it’s nothing, then that means there’s nothing I can do, so am I condemned?”
“My advice is: If you feel it, then it’s valid, you no dey craze and even if you dey craze, it’s still valid. If it doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t right because you’re the one in your body”.
“Even till now, my mother’s voice is still in my head. She makes it difficult for me to cut myself unnecessary slack. To be honest without my mother – if my mother had left me at the time when she wanted to leave the marriage, I don’t know what would have become of me,” Chude said.
Chude further divulged several interesting details about his past, ranging from multiple surgeries to the first time he experienced depression as a Nigerian law school student and the strained relationship he had with his father.
Even as he shared his story with the rest of the world, Chude acknowledged that he “shouldn’t be here today with all these adverse experiences” he had faced.
However, he hopes that by sharing his story, more people will be inspired to stay strong and keep fighting, no matter what.
#WithChude is a special series of targeted multimedia conversations and investigations focused on narratives that enable and strengthen the mind, heart, and spirit.
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