Mental health experts warn over attempted suicide cases due to cyber bullying
SHAH ALAM - Malaysian Mental Health has warned over attempted suicide cases due to cyber bullying and urged users not to insult or belittle people on social media.
Association president Professor Datuk Dr Andrew Mohanraj said there is high suicide rate among schizophrenia or bipolar mood disorder due to negative comments in social media.
"Although comments or statements are not aimed at them (victims), the pessimistic nature of conversations on social media can also influence them," he told Sinar Harian.
Moharaj, a consultant psychiatrist added there are various types of emotional and mental disorders that make individuals sensitive to comments on social media.
However, he said, the most significant psychological condition is depression, a clinical condition that makes a person vulnerable emotionally.
"Depression should be distinguished from sadness. It is seen in conditions where depression has a high element of guilt.
"Emotionally weak people should be more careful when using social media. Even people with existing mental conditions can experience depression when insulted and bullied on social media," he said.
Meanwhile, International Islamic University of Malaysia (UIAM) psychiatrist Dr Rozanizam Zakaria said statements such as insulting, scolding, threatening and so on can cause victims to feel hopeless with life and put pressure on mental health.
"Social media content can shape perceptions, for example when there is news about celebrities or influencers who self-harm, it is enough to trigger their followers to do the same thing. It's called copycat suicide.
"Often this action comes with an idea, which will grow into planning and experimentation.
"Sometimes they would stop at the stage of having the idea but when brought to social media and influenced by challenging comments, they sometimes do," he said.