Written by Eve Bandusena | Parents Avenue’s Editorial Assistant
The climate of mental illness in Malaysia
According to the Star, an estimated number of 4.2 Malaysians are living with some form of mental health issue, as stated by the Health Minister Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad. “Based on the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015 study by the ministry, the prevalence of mental health issues among adults above 16 years old is 29.2%, or simply put, 4.2mil Malaysians,” he said, while adding that women contribute to half of the number of Malaysians living with mental health issues.
It’s also been found that depression and anxiety disorders amongst other mental illnesses experienced by Malaysians are quickly on the rise and found that these problems are often caused by the following reasons as stated by National Health Morbidity Survey (NHMS) are:
Other than that, the survey stated that gender discrimination, overworking, domestic violence, and sexual abuse are other main problems that affects a Malaysian’s mental health. It’s important to remember that mental illness is a condition that affects people from all walks of life, regardless of age, race, religious backgrounds and so forth. The number of Malaysians suffering from a form of mental health conditions are staggering and is proof that the mental illness is more prevalent and should be addressed.
Prioritizing our mental health is as important as taking care of our physical. Here are 10 things you can do as carefully curated by the Health Service of the University of Michigan to ensure your mental health is at its most optimal level.
Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. Make time for your hobbies and favorite projects, or broaden your horizons. Do a daily crossword puzzle, plant a garden, take dance lessons, learn to play an instrument or become fluent in another language.
Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Be sure to:
People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, class or support group.
Volunteer your time and energy to help someone else. You’ll feel good about doing something tangible to help someone in need — and it’s a great way to meet new people.
Like it or not, stress is a part of life. Practice good coping skills: try Tai Chi, exercise, take a nature walk, play with your pet or try journal writing as a stress reducer. Also, remember to smile and see the humor in life. Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.
Try meditating, Mindfulness and/or prayer. Relaxation exercises and prayer can improve your state of mind and outlook on life. In fact, research shows that meditation may help you feel calm and enhance the effects of therapy.
Decide what you want to achieve academically, professionally and personally, and write down the steps you need to realize your goals. Aim high, but be realistic and don’t over-schedule. You’ll enjoy a tremendous sense of accomplishment and self-worth as you progress toward your goal.
Although our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. Alter your jogging route, plan a road-trip, take a walk in a different park, hang some new pictures or try a new restaurant.
Keep alcohol use to a minimum and avoid other drugs. Sometimes people use alcohol and other drugs to “self-medicate” but in reality, alcohol and other drugs only aggravate problems.
Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness and addiction and lead full, rewarding lives.
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