Depression Most Common Mental Illness in Singapore

Posted on November 12, 2014

People thought Kat, 17, was being an "emo" teenager, but the truth was far more complicated.

Two years ago, she was diagnosed with depression.

She says: "As the symptoms of depression include being irritable and having mood swings, my family and friends thought I was being a 'moody' and emotional teenager and they told me to stop being 'difficult' or to snap out of it. Depressed people simply cannot snap out of depression."

Parents whose teenaged children suffer from depression sometimes mistake the illness for teen angst, says Mr Ang Poh Hee, head of Singapore Association for Mental Health YouthReach, which provides rehabilitation and support for youth aged between 12 and 21.

"The earlier the acceptance of the illness, the greater the chance of the families seeking help, support and resources to help their child recover."

Depression is the most common mental illness in Singapore, according to the most recent large study done here on mental illness, the Singapore Mental Health Study.

Published in 2011 by a team of experts led by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), the study projects that depression will affect 170,000 adults in their lifetime, or about 6.3 per cent of the adult population. But there are no available figures pertaining to teen depression.

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Category(s):Mental Health in Asia

Source material from Asian One


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