Protect our children from the ‘hidden epidemic’

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is shocked by the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019 revelation that about 424,000 children in Malaysia have mental health problems. NHMS called the escalating mental health crisis as the ‘hidden epidemic’. We are concerned because the afflicted children represent 9.5 per cent of those aged between five …

Why the celebration of A’s is bad

The yearly examination results announcement season is here again and as usual the nation celebrates the achievements of top scorers not realizing that Malaysians' preoccupation with "scoring" in school examinations does no one any favours.

 For the high-achieving students themselves, it instills the perception that straight A’s are the be-all and end-all of school life. Co-curricular activities and simply socialising with friends — so important in developing a child's social skills — may thereby be neglected. Moreover, the pressure to keep on getting top marks could prove overbearing, and if the student should fare less well in a subsequent exam, there might be adverse effects on his or her emotional health sometimes resulting in depression or even suicides.

Depression and its many causes

depression-drawing-colourWe all feel “down” or “blue” at times. All of us have days when we feel “depressed”. Usually, these feelings are temporary, and we can have a great day tomorrow. Even when we have a bad day, we can still find enjoyment in things. These occasional bad days are part of life and not depression.

Sometimes though, these feelings may persist for several days or even weeks. This is common following the break-up of a relationship or other unpleasant event.  In many cases, the sadness or depressed mood may accompany problems such as loss of appetite, overeating, sleeplessness, excessive sleeping, lack of energy and drive, loss of interest and joy, etc. This is when depression becomes a medical illness.