Mahjong Can Help With Depression In Older People, Reports Science Journal

It’s a Saturday, you’ve had an exhausting week, and all you want to do is sleep till lunchtime. But suddenly, you hear from downstairs that familiar, noisy shuffling of tiles.

Your old folks are at it again, and you wonder what benefits Mahjong brings.

But hear, hear — a study published by the journal Social Science and Medicine reported that playing Mahjong may help older people deal with depression or even keep it at bay.

So push back your frustrations, because that ruckus is going a long way in preserving ah gong and ah ma’s healthy mental state.

Image result for singaporeans playing mahjongSource

Mahjong stimulates the mind

Conducted in China, the study found that for the elderly living in urban areas, Mahjong was particularly helpful in lowering the rates of depression.

This may be because Mahjong not only requires you to think – to find patterns among a haphazard collection of tiles – but also lets you interact with others. These will not only stimulate their minds, as is so important during the autumnal years, but also coax a few laughs here and there whenever someone at the table makes a folly.

Image result for mahjong memeSource

Not just Mahjong that helps

The study also reviewed the relation of depression to the kind of activities the elderly took part in.

Not surprisingly, those who take part in more social activities, be they joining a club or volunteering for a community project, are less likely to suffer from mental problems.

So the next time you see ah gong or ah ma bumming around the house, tell them to go out and play Mahjong. Just kidding. I mean, don’t force them. But you can encourage them by helping them arrange a session maybe, or even call up community centres and ask if they hold such activities for the elderly.

And of course, please tell them to never use Mahjong for gambling. That will probably have the inverse effect!

Featured image adapted from Brahm Centre.