Knowing the fact that some Malaysian are currently prominent with depression through social medias, I will touch on a topic of women depression in Malaysia.
Depression is an illness caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. However, depression can ruin someone’s life if it is not being treated and most of the cases recorded suicide event because of untreated depression (Malaysian Mental Health Association n.d.). Based on a notorious online newspaper in Malaysia, they analyzed that four out of ten Malaysians are most likely to be the victim of mental illness and the numbers will keep rising in days and years (The Star Online 2017). Dr Phillip George, a consultant psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist at International Medical University, aforementioned that depression not only targets the poor, weak and lonely person, but also happens to anyone and the World Bank predicted 340 million will suffer from depression by 2020 (The Star Online 2017). He also specifies, “Although the National Health and Morbidity survey shows 1.8 percent of Malaysian population are depressed, there is flaw and believe that at least 40 percent of Malaysians suffer depression.” He also adds that it is because Asians do not talk their problems easily so that the surveys might not completely valid in Malaysian population (The Star Online 2017).
According to Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya, a health deputy minister in Malaysia shared that a study has been conducted and the result showed 18, 336 Malaysians are suffering from various stage in depression. The study is obtained through mental health screening programs on approximately 273, 203 individuals at health and community clinics in 2017. Of all those individuals, the statistics showed 4.03 percent (11, 811 people) were found to suffer from mild depression, 1.26 percent (3, 680 people) suffer moderate depression and 0.62 percent (1, 682 people) experience severe depression (Wani Azahar 2018).
To relate with this week topic and materials, a study about women depression made by Sherina Mohd Sidik shares that the number of women undergo depression in marriage is more than unmarried women. Plus, from a survey table that includes in her study, childhood abuse physically and sexually, serious marital problems, serious housing problems, unhappy relationship with husband or partner and others are on the list (Mohd Sidik et. al 2012). These facts show that violence and trauma give a huge impact in women’s health and caused depression. Another research conducted by Tahir M Khan also proves that married women have higher depression result than unmarried women (M Khan 2011).
From my point of view, this mental illness is very important concern in Malaysia and in public health standpoint because depression can cause death and suicide. Even though Malaysia is a multiracial country, but it is known as a Muslim country. Sex is illegal unless you are married for a Muslim therefore, I am not interested to cover on that part. But since mental health can strike anyone with any background, it is a big concern for them. Furthermore, with the advanced technology nowadays, people are very into technology and that play a big role in depression for women aside from violence and traumas. As for public health standpoint, I believe that this mental illness also is a serious problem for women in other countries. From the videos and readings provided in this class, they share us violence and trauma experienced by women around the world such as rape and internal violence in relationship which I believe that could bring depression to them.
Malaysian Mental Health Association. (n.d.). Depression. Malaysian Mental Health Association. Retrieved from http://mmha.org.my/understanding-mental-health/understanding-mental-illness/depression/
Mohd Sidik, Sherina et. al. (2012). Prevalence of Depression Among Women Attending A Primary Urban Care Clinic in Malaysia. Singapore Medical Journal. 53. 468-73.
M Khan, Tahir. (2011). Clinical Presentation of Depression Among Malaysian Women in Penang Island. Mental Health in Family Medicine. 3, 205-208.
The Star Online. (2017). Depression: 40% of Malaysians Will Suffer from Mental Health Issues in Their Lifetime. The Star Online. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/04/02/malaysians-will-suffer-from-mental-health-issues-in-their-lifetime/
Wani Azahar. (2018). Study Found 18, 336 Malaysians Suffering from Depression. Human Resources. Retrieved from http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/study-found-18336-malaysians-suffering-from-depression/