NHMS 2023: A Million People Aged Above 15 In Malaysia Suffer From Depression

According to NHMS 2023, depression in Malaysia has double since 2019, with nearly half having thoughts of self-harm or suicide. It is most prevalent among ages 16-29. 1 in 6 children are also likely to suffer from mental health problems.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 – The National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2023 has revealed that approximately one million people, or 4.6 per cent, of those aged over 15 in Malaysia, suffer from depression.

The number of people with depression has doubled from 2019 to 2023, with nearly half of them having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, according to the NHMS report released last May 16.

The survey found that depression was more prevalent among younger age groups, specifically those aged 16 to 19 (7.9 per cent) and aged 20 to 29 (7.6 per cent).

The prevalence of depression in other age groups were: 30 to 39 (4.1 per cent), 40 to 49 (3.1 per cent), 50 to 59 (2.4 per cent), and 60 above (3.1 per cent).

For children, the survey reported that one in six children in Malaysia are likely to experience mental health problems. The burden of mental health problems among children has also doubled since 2019.

Approximately 46 per cent of children with mental health issues attributed their problems to peer-related issues. These include difficulty playing with other kids, having no good friends, being bullied, not being liked by other children, and getting along better with adults.

About 25 per cent have conduct problems such as frequent tantrums, disobeying instructions, lying or cheating, stealing, and fighting with other children.

Around 17 per cent have emotional problems, tending to worry a lot, often being unhappy, nervous or clingy, easily scared, and frequently complaining about headaches.

Another 8 per cent have hyperactivity problems, including restlessness, fidgeting, being easily distracted, having short attention spans, and acting impulsively.

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