Significant increase in depression among Malaysians since 2019, NHMS 2023 reveals

PUTRAJAYA: Some one million individuals aged 15 years old and above were found to be suffering from depression, according to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2023: Non-Communicable Diseases and Healthcare Demand (NHMS).

The survey found that the number of people with depression had doubled from 2019 to 2023, and was found to be higher among younger age groups, specifically those aged 16 to 29 years old.

"A total of 4.6% (1,000,000) of adults in Malaysia were found to be suffering from depression," it said.

The survey is an annual research activity, aimed at gathering information on health and to determine the prevalence of diseases and related risk factors among Malaysians.

The data collection sessions were conducted from July until Sept 2023, across all walks of life carried out in urban and rural areas, nationwide.

It also found that about half of the respondents have thoughts about hurting themselves or "being better off dead".

The survey also found that the prevalence of mental health problems among children had jumped from 7.9% in 2019 to 16.5% in 2023, affecting one in six children aged five to 15 in Malaysia.

On the topic of disability, the survey found for adults, the prevalence of disability was 8.2% in 2023, a reduction from the prevalence in NHMS 2019, which stood at 11.1%.

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