Don’t neglect signs of depression, public urged

National 1 minute, 58 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

OFFICIALS from the Health Ministry and the Islamic Da’wah Centre (PDI) urged the public not to neglect early warning signs of depression and other mental health conditions as it could lead to long-term effects if left untreated.

During a public forum entitled ‘Kembali Senyum’ held yesterday at Ash-Shaliheen Mosque at the Prime Minister’s Office Building Complex, Hjh Rozailah Hj Abd Rahman, a clinical psychologist from the Ministry of Health, and PDI official Ustaz Hisham Ismail said Bruneians must be on the lookout for ‘red flag’ symptoms of depression as it could happen to anyone at any age.

Hjh Rozailah said depression might not even need a trigger, adding its symptoms often include feeling tired for no reason and an inability to function or concentrate, and some might even have thoughts of death or suicide.

“Depression doesn’t choose its victims. It could happen to a family member or a friend... so it’s important to know the signs and seek help when you need to,” she said.

While depression isn’t widely spoken about amongst Bruneians, Hjh Rozailah said identifying the problem is key.

“The sooner you get treatment, the easier it will be to return to your happy, healthy self,” she said.

She also advised the public to show compassion to those who are struggling with depression.

“Some might be ashamed to talk about their mental state... so they keep it to themselves. When you see someone who may be struggling with depression, ask them if they’re fine and offer help. Don’t look down on them,” she said.

While it’s perfectly normal to feel mildly depressed or anxious at times, professional help should be sought if symptoms persist, she added.

Meanwhile, Ustaz Hisham encouraged Muslims who are struggling with depression or facing stress to recite the Quran and offer prayers to Allah. “Al-Quran heals any type of disease, whether it’s emotional or physical. It can help calm our minds and relieve the pain that’s inside us,” he said.

“Instead of focusing on the problem and negativity, focus on how you’re going to fix the problem. Accept, let go and move on. Don’t let the pain linger, as it can turn into depression and further affect your life,” he added, noting that being stressed and depressed also has a ‘domino effect’.

The Brunei Times