As most of you would have known by now, mental illnesses have gain increasing attention as one of the major forms of illnesses to affect our population. Multiple media news outlets have already commented on the topic to show how this previously hidden epidemic, that most of us have shied away from due to the social stigma that is attached to it, is actually very widespread and common. The 2011 National Health and Morbidity Survey have found that 12% of Malaysians between 18 and 60 are actually suffering from some form of mental disease. It can be said that in the near future, this will become a major issue that needs to be tackled head on.
One of the most common forms of mental illness comes in the form of depression, a mood disorder that ranges from mild but disruptive sadness to severe incapability to function in everyday life. Unlike what common misunderstanding would like us to believe, clinical depression is not a passing mood that can easily be purged through a change of our mind-set, it can become crippling if left untreated due to the way it affects our thoughts (cognition), our mood (emotion), our actions (behaviour), as well as our neuronal pathways (biological).
One of the things that we would like to tackle through our upcoming project/campaign in October is to use social media as a platform for clarifying some of the misunderstandings surrounding depression as well as to provide some information as to how we can better understand this widespread but under acknowledged issues. We believe that internet psychoeducation, prepared in a very accessible and easy to digest format, can serve as a platform for the public to gain some insight into psychological phenomena.
That is the basis for “De Project”, to provide some information regarding the four aspects on depression: (1) to describe depression as a form of illness; (2) to discover some of its causes or precursors; (3) to list out some of its major symptoms and manifestations; and (4) some of the more common forms of treatment. MY Psychology will publish various forms of content to discuss this topic, the first being very personal confessions regarding the experiences one has with depression (in the form of letters or drawings) collected from anonymous contributors or patients that volunteer to do so from some of the mental healthcare centres that we contacted. We will also publish comics and artwork that are easy to understand, a series of articles and thinkpieces that address relevant topics surrounding depression, and a video. All of these will be published in the span of two weeks, and we will upload these on a day to day basis, so stay tuned to our daily updates.
To gain more understanding in something may not necessarily result in a direct change, but it is taking a step further out of our comfort zone, and to tackle a problem as large as mental health requires nothing but such small steps. As the common saying goes, a sharp knife can’t cut a boulder in half, but droplets of water can create a hole given enough time. We believe that change can occur through such incremental steps, through a long-termed but widespread dissemination of knowledge regarding depression. And we wish that through such measures, we can give hope to those in need.
Join us at bit.ly/deproject