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Are you the 5% of Malaysia’s population?: Understanding depression

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Depression is a complex and multifaceted condition that can result from various factors. People in Malaysia might sometimes ignore the symptoms. Some common causes of depression include:

  1. Biological factors: Depression can be caused by brain changes, such as imbalances in neurotransmitters like serotonin, which regulate mood.
  2. Psychological factors: Negative thought patterns, traumatic life events, low self-esteem, and personality traits such as perfectionism can all contribute to depression.
  3. Social factors: Isolation, loneliness, and stressful life events such as the death of a loved one, financial difficulties, or relationship problems can trigger depression in some people.
  4. Medical factors: Chronic illness, chronic pain, sleep disturbances, and certain medications can also lead to depression.

It’s important to note that a combination of these factors can also cause depression and that every individual’s experience with depression is unique.

Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are not present in all people suffering from depression. Still, they are potential complications of the illness. Depression can lead to a persistent and overwhelming sense of hopelessness, making it difficult for a person to see a way out of their suffering. It can result in thoughts of suicide or even attempts to take one’s own life.

Suppose you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide. In that case, taking them seriously and seeking help immediately is essential. Consider calling a crisis helpline, going to the nearest emergency room, or contacting a mental health professional.

Remember, there is always help and hope for people struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression. It is possible to overcome these challenges and lead a fulfilling life with appropriate treatment.

According to available data, depression is a common mental health issue in Malaysia. The prevalence of depression in the country has been estimated at between 3% and 5% of the population. However, it is believed that the actual rate may be higher due to underdiagnosis and the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Depression Malaysian
Photo by Natasya Alias.

In Malaysia, depression affects people of all ages, genders, and socio-economic backgrounds. However, certain groups may be at a higher risk of developing depression, including:

  1. Women: Women are more likely to experience depression than men, particularly during hormonal changes such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
  2. Youth: Adolescents and young adults are at higher risk of depression due to the stress and changes associated with this stage of life.
  3. Elderly: Older adults may also be at higher risk of depression due to declining health, loss of loved ones, and loneliness.
  4. People with a family history of depression: A family history of depression can increase a person’s risk of developing the condition.
  5. Individuals with chronic medical conditions: People with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer may be at higher risk of depression due to the impact of their illness on their daily life.

It’s essential for Malaysian to be aware of the signs and symptoms of depression and to seek help if they are experiencing symptoms. Suppose you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression. In that case, it’s essential to seek professional help from a doctor or mental health provider. With appropriate treatment, depression is a treatable condition. Early intervention and treatment can help improve outcomes and prevent depression from becoming a chronic condition.

“It’s difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling – that really hollowed-out feeling.”

-JK Rowling

Thank you for reading this article.

I am Daniel, My Psychology KK’s intern.

With you, My Psychology KK.