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M’sians Share Their Battle With Depression & Why Mental Health Awareness is So Important

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[TEST] M’sians Share Their Battle With Depression & Why Mental Health Awareness is So Important - WORLD OF BUZZ 14
Source: Zodab & Sangkary

It’s no secret that mental health issues such as depression are on the rise as some 4.2 million Malaysians above the age of 16 were found to suffer from some form of mental illness. Adding to this unfortunate finding, reports suggest that depression will be a major mental health illness among Malaysians by 2020, which experts attribute to increasing work stress and family pressure.

In an effort to get a better understanding of the impact of depression in our society as well as the importance of awareness, we reached out to a couple of Malaysians from all walks of life to share with us their personal battle. Here are their stories:

 

1. Someone who was constantly made fun of by his family 

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Alvin’s favourite book

I faced a lot of self-esteem issues since I was younger; these issues grew even larger when I was constantly made fun of by my own family members. I didn’t know how to deal with this problem because “bullying”, or rather teasing, is a norm in Asian families. I tried brushing off every word that hurt me but it grew like venom inside me. Eventually, I just isolated myself and turned to writing and reading to numb the pain. 

It wasn’t until my mum told me one day that she was proud of the person I had become that things got better. I realised I’ve been looking for validation and love my whole life. If I knew what was going on in my head, I would have sought help earlier and not suffer alone for a long time. Awareness is important! To simply put it, it can save a soul.

– Alvin, 30, Teacher 

 

2. Someone who used his own negative energy to be creative 

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Chong at his office

I don’t think I’ll ever kill myself but not a day goes by that I don’t feel like things would be so much better if I were dead. Growing up, I’ve always felt like I’ve been a disappointment to my parents who expected me to be a straight-A student and pursue a ‘professional career’.

Needless to say, I failed to live up to their expectations and ended up as a graphic designer instead. Things eventually got better for me after I started receiving professional help and learnt how to overcome any negative thoughts by channelling that energy to my work. All this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a few friends who pushed me to seek help, this is why I believe mental health awareness is important.

– Chong, 25, Graphic Designer

 

3. How one Malaysian overcame her depression and is now a counsellor 

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A gift given by one of Alice’s client

I was depressed mostly throughout my 20’s and I think what most people don’t understand about depression is how excruciatingly lonely life can be. Despite having loved ones around you, you just sort of feel like you’re an extra in a scene you don’t belong in. I know there was no reason for me to feel this way because of the people I have in my life who genuinely care for me.

This is why breaking this cycle of thought was a gruelling challenge I struggled to overcome. But if it’s one thing I’ve learnt through the stories of individuals who unfortunately took their own lives is that suicide is not a solution to your problems.

To help others struggling with depression, I now volunteer as a counsellor in my church.

– Alice, 35, Freelance writer/counsellor

 

4. How one Malaysian battled depression throughout her childhood 

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Sangkary’s tattoo which reminds her that life goes on

I’ve had depression since I was in primary school and it escalated in highschool. It eventually became a part of me as a person and I appreciate it because I now try to live my life to the fullest because of how far I’ve come with it. But I couldn’t have done it without taking the initiative to learn about that part of me that hated me so much. I wanted to know why it hated me so much. Awareness is important because depression is subjective to the individual, but basic knowledge of mental illness can help lead to a better understanding of your own.

– Sangkary, 23, Student 

Your mental health is not something to be taken lightly as made evident by these stories. As Malaysians, let us come together and help raise awareness by actively taking part and supporting initiatives that shine a light on this important issue. 

One great initiative we would like to make a shoutout about is none other than the ArtXpression Festival happening from 7pm-11pm on 9 September 2019 at Multimedia University (MMU). 

Run completely by MMU students, this award-winning festival uses art as a medium to educate and spread awareness about mental health to the masses. 

The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘Love Yourself’ which aims to create a positive and supportive environment while educating the community on how art is used as a tool for therapy

Here’s what you wouldn’t want to miss out on:

  • Listen to mental health advocators share their life experiences during the Forum of Xpression.
  • Watch inspiring young individuals go head-to-head in a special competition showcasing their unique talents that’ll leave you entertained at the Stage of Xpression.
  • Be captivated by works of art, from paintings and photographs to handicrafts at the Gallery of Xpression.

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Source: ArtXpression Festival

Highlighting the festival are special guest appearances by well-known Malaysian figures none other than renowned actress Maya Karin and model Azfar Firdaus, just to name a few. WOW!

[TEST] M’sians Share Their Battle With Depression & Why Mental Health Awareness is So Important - WORLD OF BUZZ

Join them in a TED-style talk, as they share their personal struggles and how they overcome them by loving themselves.

And that’s not all! For the first time since its inception, MMU students will be making an appearance at the Cyberjaya Multimedia Festival showcasing a play on the trials and tribulations of three married couples in a play titled Konsekuensi.

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Watch it live at the Cyberjaya Multimedia Festival at Tamarind Square, Cyberjaya from 5pm – 7pm 7 September 2019.

Piqued your interest yet? Purchase your tickets now!

For more information on the ArtXpression festival 2019, click here.

What do you think of these stories by fellow Malaysians? Let us know in the comments below what are some other ways we can highlight the importance of mental health awareness in our society.

Remember, dear Malaysians, you are loved much more than you know!

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