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Mental disorders and rejection by society

Written by: MT Reader | 16 Dec 2018 15:25
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Written by:
16 Dec 2018 15:25
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While it is bad enough for one to suffer mental illness and mental disorders, it's all the more worse when they face discrimination and rejection from society.

According to the World Health Organisation, one in four individuals develops a common mental disorder, such as depression or anxiety, every year. 

Two in every 100 people in our community develop schizophrenia or manic depression (bipolar disorder) in their lifetime. 

Two to three per cent of all families have a family member who is affected by intellectual disability. 

Five of the 10 leading causes of disability are mental disorders — depression, substance abuse, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.

He said the symptoms of a mental disorder may greatly reduce one’s ability to work, study or participate in community life. The disorder could also lead to other health problems, and in some cases, even suicide.

It is believed that depression will be one of the largest health problems worldwide by 2020. Surveys show that mental disorders occur in one in five individuals, or 20 per cent of the world population, each year.

In Malaysia, most mental health promotions are focused on the individual. We have overlooked other essential factors, such as the environment in which we live in. Is our environment conducive to the development of healthy bodies and minds.

Creating greater awareness of mental health, empowering the mentally sick and their family members to stand up against the stigma and discrimination through education and engaging the public to understand the issues related to mental disorders are some strategies that can be undertaken to de-stigmatise mental illness.

It is important to include the community and environment we live in. 

We can’t address mental health problems without meaningful participation by the people, stakeholders and government sectors. 

Mental health is a community, national and global matter.

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye,
Patron, Malaysian Psychiatric Association, Kuala Lumpur

 

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