suggest that over 40% of Malaysians will suffer from one mental health issue during their lifetime.
The World Bank
had predicted that 340 million people will suffer from depression by 2020, although other sources quote even higher figures.
These numbers are often false, as the scale of mental health issues is much bigger. However, due to the social stigma that comes along with this type of pathology, people rarely admit to suffering from them.
Many people struggle with depression on a daily basis yet they are too afraid or ashamed to ask for help. The same can be said about bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other serious psychiatric disorders. In addition to this, the general population do not have a basic education regarding these types of mental health issues - so when they occur it is rare that they are given the necessary attention and treatment. Instead, most people prefer to hide these issues under the "rug" hoping they would disappear.
Unfortunately the opposite happens. The mental health issue grows in the background while the patients refuse to look reality in the eye and acknowledge the fact that there is a brewing problem in their psyche.
Interestingly enough, this is not a problem that occurs only in the lives of the poor, the weak or the lonely. Mental health issues are prevalent amongst all social classes, irrespective of environmental conditions.
Contrary to what most people would think, you cannot just "snap" out of depression. Certainly there are many things you can do to ease the pain (such as ensuring a good nutrition, proper exercise, reducing stress levels, getting a good night's sleep and so on). However, like somebody cannot just "snap" out of diabetes, people who suffer from depression cannot just "snap" out of it either.
It seems that mental health issues rates will go higher and higher in the near future. Hopefully, with enough education and awareness brought to the general public, people will start shifting their opinion about mental health challenges - that they are real, tangible, that they should be treated as any other physical health issues and that it is not a social stigma to suffer from them.
Fortunately there are some organizations which tackle this social issue directly and offer assistance to those in need. SOLS is one of the leading Malaysian humanitarian organizations which provide aid for those suffering from mental health issues, as well as increasing awareness about them. Check out SOLS Health for more information!