On the 2nd of December, the 32nd Annual Malaysian Film Festival was held.
Following the recent headlines on Maya Karin’s abrupt panic attack on stage, and netizens lauding Faizal Hussein for being her ‘hero’, the event opens up a discussion that has been around for a while: that mental illness is, and has always been a very real and serious issue.
In the video, it was seen that Maya Karin was visibly shaking, her voice had started quivering as she was delivering her speech – and she had to stop herself halfway to place a hand onto her co-host, Faizal Hussein, to steady herself. She had taken off her heels in fear of collapsing, but carried forward with her delivery with Faizal holding her the whole way through.
Having to witness Maya Karin experiencing one in front of the camera and thousands of people at least, was mortifying. She handled herself extremely well, given the circumstances.
In case you aren’t familiar, hands shaking and voice quivering are all telltale signs of a deeper problem – they are not simply nerves. Rather, they are often symptoms of other disorders, most commonly panic disorder. Anxiety disorder is a form of panic disorder where an individual regularly has sudden feelings of panic and/or fear.
Anxiety on its own is a common response to fearful situations – it is our body’s way of handling dangerous situations, a trait our bodies have carved out since the dawn of humanity. You might be more familiar with the term ‘fight or flight’ which is essentially what the body is going through.
However, when these responses kick in without any apparent reason, it becomes a form of disorder.
According to a research conducted by scholars from Current Psychology, out of 326 participants, the percentage of people who suffer from a form of anxiety disorder is around 41%, nearly half of the amount, making it more common than you think.
This raises questions on the still-prevalent stigma surrounding mental health in general, especially in a more conservative country like Malaysia. However, judging solely on netizen responses on Maya Karin’s episode, it seems like more people are coming forward to be empathetic.
This is good progress in terms of normalising the conversation, but is also worrying considering that many of the responses were from people who have had or have similar experiences and symptoms of what the actress was going through.
As we reach a new modernity, it’s important to be mindful of our own wellbeing. Anxiety and panic disorders are serious and should be taken seriously. If you, or anyone you know are going through something similar, do not be ashamed to reach for help.
Watch the video here:
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