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More Men Than Women Suffer From Mental Disorder, Says Study

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KUALA LUMPUR: The number of men suffering from mental disorder is almost double compared to women in the country.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said the National Morbidity Study carried out last year revealed that a total of 42,168 people sought psychiatric treatment at government hospitals for some form of mental disorder.

“Of this, a total of 27,855 men suffered mental disorder compared to 14,313 women,” he said in written reply to a question by Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz (PAS-Pasir Mas) in Dewan Rakyat Wednesday.

He added that those between 20 and 49 years old tend to suffer from mental disorder.

Dr Subramaniam said there are several categories of mental disorders.

This, he added, ranged from organic mental disorder, disorder due to substance abuse, schizophrenia, neurosis and mental retardation.

He also said there were many factors that led to mental illness.

“One of it is genetics where a person who has a family history of mental illness may have a higher chance of suffering mental disorder,” he said.

Other factors, he added, were dysfunctional neurotransmitters and traumatic life experience such as the loss of a loved one, separation or divorce.

“Lower social economic factors such as financial issue, poverty and the lack of basic amenities are also factors that could lead to mental disorder,” he said.

To address this issue, Dr Subramaniam said the National Consultative Council on Mental Health was set up in 2011 to draft programmes for the ministry to promote healthy life style and awareness campaigns.

For example, the Healthy Mind Programme was carried out in 2,343 schools nationwide to educate students on keeping a healthy mind.

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