Mental health issues in Malaysia are set to worsen in the coming years – here’s what you can do to prevent it

Mental illnesses are becoming a real problem in Malaysia.

By the year 2020, mental health issues such as depression are expected to be major problems among Malaysians, the patron of the Malaysian Psy­­chiatric Association (MPA), Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, said on Sunday (Aug 5).

According to Lee, 29% of Malaysians suffered from depression and anxiety disorders compared to 12% in 2011. The data was taken from the 2017 National Health and Morbidity Survey.

He said in a statement that the increase is mostly due to people finding it hard to deal with problems at their workplaces and being unable to cope with the stress, The Star reported.

“It is harder when an individual faces problems from family members and do not receive emotional support. There are higher chances of people keeping their thoughts and emotions to themselves when they do not find a way to vent out their frustrations”, he added.

To counter the growing problem, Lee said that people can employ methods such as exercising consistently, sleeping at least eight hours a day and avoiding social media platforms such as WhatsApp at least 45 minutes before going to bed.

If detected early, issues like depression and anxiety could be treated.

Symptoms of depression include fatigue, insomnia and loss of interest in things once considered pleasurable. Anxiety disorder can be identified if you exhibit traits such as panic, uneasiness, heart palpitations, or not being able to stay calm and still.

You contact the Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA) at (+603) 7782 5499 if you have any queries about these issues or if you are seeking help for yourself or somebody you know.