KOTA BHARU: The Psychiatric Specialist Clinic at Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II (HRPZ) II here, receives 50 new mental health cases for treatment each month.

HRPZ II Psychiatry and Mental Health Department head Dr. Fariza Yahya, said 25 of these cases involve patients suffering from depression.

She emphasised the importance of seeking immediate treatment from specialists at the hospital for those facing mental health issues, without worrying about societal stigma.

“I advise those affected not to attempt self-treatment with illegal drugs such as ‘pil kuda’ and others,“ she cautioned.

“Self-treatment usually leads to worsening depression,“ she told Bernama recently.

Elaborating, Dr. Fariza said that mental illnesses can actually be treated with the help of qualified specialists.

“I acknowledge that many patients also seek treatment from traditional medicine practitioners in villages,“ she said.

She also noted that the cost of mental health treatment, particularly for newer medications, can be high. Nonetheless, these medications have been demonstrated to be effective and possess fewer side effects.

Dr. Fariza clarified that depression is not attributable to a lack of faith (for Muslim patients), but rather stems from persistent stress and can also be associated with genetic factors.

“What’s crucial is intensive treatment and support from close ones. Left untreated, the condition may worsen, posing risks to themselves and others,“ she added.