KUALA LUMPUR: Depression will be a major mental health illness Malaysians will suffer from by 2020 as more people are expected to experience increased stress due to work and family pressure, said Patron of the Malaysian Psychiatric Association (MPA) Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
He said according to the 2017 National Health and Morbidity Survey, 29% of Malaysians had depression and anxiety disorder compared to 12% in 2011.
"Most people find it hard to deal with the problems they face at work and cannot handle the stress, and it is harder when an individual faces problems from family members and do not receive emotional support.
"There are higher chances of people keeping their thoughts and emotions to themselves when they do not find a way to vent out their frustrations," he said in a statement today.
Lee said the survey done by experts on the prevalence of depression among Malaysians showed a 50% increase in the number of depressed patients from 2011 to 2015.
Therefore, the society needs to address the illness and develops preventive strategies and effective programmes in managing the mental wellbeing, and some of the measures to prevent depression and anxiety are to exercise consistently, sleep at least eight hours a day and avoid social media platforms, such as WhatsApp, at least 45 minutes before going to bed, Lee said.