Monday, September 3, 2018

3 in 10 Malaysians Need Psychological Help

Malaysia's Sunday Star yesterday carried a MMHA warning of a shocking spike in the number of teenagers and children in Malaysia who are contemplating suicide (p 05). 

Malaysia Mental Health Association president Dr Andrew Mohanraj said the youngest was a nine-year-old. And supposedly because of bullying on Facebook

He highlighted the fact that the number of teen depression, attempted suicides and self-harm being handled by private and government psychiatric services here is burgeoning. 

Dr Andrew cited the 2015 national morbidity survey that showed 29.2% of Malaysians aged 16 and above had some form of mental health issues – a three-fold jump from a similar survey done by the Health Ministry a decade earlier. 

This means three in 10 Malaysians need some form of psychological help. 

Dr Andrew advised parents that if they notice prolonged sadness and isolation in their children, they should immediately be on their guard. 

But as I’ve said time and time again, we are NOT doing enough to address the issue of mental health in this country.

Having depression is really not that uncommon. 

Check out plus-size model Tess Holliday (left), 33, who opened up about struggling with postpartum depression, which lasted from January last year to this spring, long after her son Bowie’s birth in June 2016. She described it as "the worst mental health state of her life". 

“It felt like the water was boiling over and things were coming to the top again”, Holliday tells Cosmopolitan UK for their October cover, on sale Friday. 

“I remember very vividly driving in the car with Bowie and I thought to myself, ‘I wish I could just disappear. I wish I could vanish’”. 

Though she's now on the other side of it, Holliday lamented how her postpartum depression affected those close to her. 

"It felt at that point like I was causing everyone around me so much pain", she said. "It felt like a never-ending black hole. I was so tired of hurting… I just didn't want to be here anymore". 

She and many others who managed to move on – are depression survivors. 

We all need to master this skill – our lives depend on it.

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