Interview with Dr Kojo Sarfo on sharing mental health information
TikTok has over a billion users worldwide and posts some of the most useful content on social media, whether you’re looking for a new weight loss workout or learning more about lesser-known symptoms of depression. . One TikTok creator who has really gained a following is Kojo Sarfo, DNP, known as @ dr.kojosarfo on TikTok. He shares informative content on mental illness and taking care of your mental health, and although Dr Kojo said he started creating TikToks as a way to kill time, “it kind of took off. “. To put it mildly: he has accumulated over 1.8 million followers and obtained over 39 million likes on the platform.
Dr. Kojo has created informative TikToks on a range of mental health issues such as social anxiety, eating disorders, depression, and ADHD. POPSUGAR spoke with Dr Kojo about his experience studying mental health, working with patients, and spreading not only knowledge but also joy on social media.
How Dr Kojo began to treat mental health
Dr Kojo graduated as a registered nurse at the age of 20 and soon after worked in a mental institution in Augusta, Georgia. Although he had apprehensions about the job at first, he said he quickly enjoyed working with psychiatric patients. “I spent a lot of time outside with the patients,” he told POPSUGAR. “In the second shift, I was spending time with the doctors and the psychiatrists and the therapists and the social workers and the responsible nurses, and I started to understand this world.”
He realized that the world inside a mental institution was so different from the outside world, and as he began to learn more, he returned to school to earn his doctorate in nursing practice. . “After I graduated, on TikTok I tried to illustrate what it would look like for those who had no idea,” he said. “I used humor, music and dance [to help] a lot of people see this world in a good light. “
While discussions about mental health and mental illness can often be dark and depressing, people with mental illness also have a sense of humor. Using upbeat music, fun dancing, and graphics can help share information in a way that is not only entertaining, but also more accessible. It is also important that Dr Kojo uses his clinical experience as an expert to share his point of view and facts, as so much content on social media can be clouded with false information and shared by people who are not. not credible.
One of the main topics that Dr. Kojo discusses in his TikToks is ADHD. He shared videos revealing signs of ADHD that may not be as well known, how ADHD manifests in women, and tips on how to deal with ADHD. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 4.4% of adults have been diagnosed with ADHD, and it is more common in men than in women.
However, Dr Kojo said that there are diagnostic disparities between boys and girls when it comes to ADHD; he explained that boys are often diagnosed with ADHD at a young age because they show symptoms of hyperactivity, while girls usually have other symptoms such as inattention, disorganization or anxiety. In fact, research on ADHD in girls and women is limited, and boys are diagnosed from childhood while girls often have to wait until they are adults to be officially diagnosed.
As you progress into adulthood, Dr Kojo said it can come across as self-medication out of frustration, inability to keep a job, cut off conversations, relationship issues, and symptoms of depression. and anxiety. Dr Kojo often uses the hashtag #ADHDinWomen on his TikToks to reach more women and provide information. “It won’t be equal because you could try to steer it more towards a female audience, but I think it’s fair because women aren’t as likely to get help,” he said. -he declares. “It’s my way of trying to bring some kind of balance.”
If a TikTok on a certain mental health issue such as ADHD resonated with you, Dr Kojo said it was important to seek help from a health care professional such as a psychiatrist or doctor. primary care to be diagnosed and treated. “It’s very important whether you have ADHD or not, if it’s the catalyst that gets you up and in control… Then my online job, my goal has been met,” a he declared.
How Dr. Kojo Continues to Spread Happiness
Dr. Kojo has already educated millions of people and spread happiness through his TikTok videos, especially with an original mental health rap series titled “Happiness is Right for You”. Now he has expanded into the music video business with the help of his brother, known as Dattkidrob, having recorded the full song for Spotify and Apple Music. Dr Kojo has given POPSUGAR the exclusive premiere of the official “Happiness Looks Good on You” music video below.
Be sure to follow Dr. Kojo on TikTok for fun educational videos on ADHD and other mental health issues, self-care, and stress and anxiety management.
Image source: Kwame Sarfo