The recent storms and ensuing floods have led to a rise in the number of mental health issues among the public.

Malaysian Mental Health Association president Dr Andrew Mohanraj told The Star that they have been receiving about 500 calls a month, but since the floods hit, the numbers are increasing.

"Traditionally, we often see ourselves as a safe country but the unexpected floods in certain areas have caused trauma to the people," he said, adding that this does not only involve the displaced communities, but from their families and the public as well.

The mental health issues include fear, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among those braved the ordeal themselves.

According to Mohanraj, the PTSD symptoms could last for between six months and a year - long after the victims had returned to their homes after the floods.

The symptoms can manifest in the victims distrusting others, especially survivors and those who have lost loved ones.

"Some may experience memory loss and poor concentration. If not addressed properly, it may lead to reckless behaviour among adults and use of drugs to cope," he warned.

"In children, it could be of great impact on them when they grow up."

Counsellor Rohini Krishnan, the founder of Meraky Counselling Services, echoed Dr Mohanraj, saying more people have been seeking mental health help since the floods occurred.

"There is increased anxiety in a lot of people. This situation can be addressed as seasonal depression or seasonal anxiety like people in countries that have winter, who feel more depressed and lonely during the cold weather," she said.

Having a good support system among family, friends, and colleagues, is important to reduce the chances of getting a panic attack during the gloomy weather season, she stressed.

"Keep everyone in the loop every day."

Source: The Star
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