During the many lockdowns or movement control orders in Malaysia, we heard many accounts of mental health difficulties.
There were several suicide attempts, as well as an unusual increase in the number of suicide deaths.
Between 2000 and 2019, Malaysia’s minimum and maximum suicide rates for both sexes were 4.9 and 6.1 per 100,000 people, respectively.
The average rates for the last three years (2017–2019) were 5.6, 8.8, and 2.4 for both sexes, men, and females, respectively.
An article in frontiersin.org says Malaysia had the second-highest suicide rate among Muslim-majority nations. It was in the middle of ASEAN countries and was lower than all G7 countries except Italy.
Between January 2019 and May 2021, at least 281 men and 1,427 women in Malaysia committed suicide, with 872 of them aged 15 to 18.
In the first five months of 2021, police documented 468 suicides, up from a total of 631 in 2020 and 609 in 2019.
However, according to a new study from Washington University, persons who survive the acute stage of Covid-19 are more likely to have mental health problems within a year.
Sadness and sleep abnormalities
These issues include anxiety, sadness, suicidal thoughts, and sleep abnormalities.
The study, which was published on Wednesday in The BMJ, also discovered an elevated risk of substance use disorders, including opioids and non-opioids like alcohol and illegal substances.
From March 2020 to January 2021, the researchers analysed the anonymised medical data of roughly 154,000 Covid-19 patients who had survived and were in the US Veterans Health Administration system.
According to the report, the researchers subsequently monitored the patients’ medical results from after the acute phase of Covid-19 through the end of November 2021.
This data was contrasted to those of two control groups: more than 5.6 million patients who did not receive Covid-19 during that time period, and more than 5.8 million patients in 2017, prior to the pandemic.
In the two years leading up to the commencement of the follow-up analysis, none of the research participants had been diagnosed with or treated for a mental health illness.
They also discovered that Covid-19 patients were 55% more likely to take antidepressants and 65% more likely to take benzodiazepines for anxiety. People in this category were also 41% more likely to have sleep difficulties and 63% more likely to take a sleeping medicine, according to the study.
Many of the Covid-19 patients also suffered from “brain fog” or cognitive deterioration.