Mental health issues not only affect adults, but they also affect adolescents. According to National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2017, depression, anxiety and stress were the most significant mental health issues which affected Malaysian adolescents.
Paternal postpartum depression may afflict up to 1 in 4 new fathers, and they are less likely than women to talk to friends and family or to seek medical advice for mental health problems due to the tendency to avoid expressing themselves emotionally and appearing vulnerable. There are additional challenges too, as awareness of paternal postpartum depression is low and new fathers do not undergo screenings as often as new mothers do.
It is important for women to be able to differentiate between baby blues and PPD and they should seek treatment if symptoms of PPD persist for a long period of time. However, due to the presence of societal expectations or if the new mother is afraid of being judged and criticised, she may not want to reveal to people around her about her problems. This may indirectly jeopardise the care of the newborn.
If a person’s functioning, be it at school, work or socially, is impaired, the person may likely be facing depression. Instead of stigmatizing and labeling them as crazy or insane, we should advise those with depressive symptoms to seek appropriate treatment and at the same time, we should constantly shower them with care and support.
Although some people with severe mental disorders can be involved in violent crimes, the fact is people with severe mental disorders are over 10 times more prone to be victims of violence. It is necessary to educate the public about the correct facts to ensure that people with mental illnesses are not being stigmatized and mislabeled.