Is it normal to have chest discomfort if I have anxiety?

Thank you for sharing your problems. Chest pain and discomfort can be a very scary symptom. For most people, who are used to be in control of life; “suddenly” losing control over their own body can be extremely terrifying. Especially when we might have heard/seen other people having heart attacks or sudden deaths. The first step would be to see a family doctor and make sure the doctor feels that it is nothing serious to it. Left sided body aches and discomfort are quite common. In fact, everyone will feel it from time to time.

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Answered By

Dr Paul Ang

General Practitioner

If I am in denial, what can I do to stop my denial?

You may want to consider seeking out a professional counsellor/psychologist. There’s also a website BetterHelp. com that links you up with online counsellors if you wish to remain anonymous.

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Answered By

Dr Shi Hui Poon

Psychiatrist

Are there any alternatives to anti-depressants for severe depression and anxiety?

Thanks for your question, and I’m very sorry to hear that you are going through such a horrible time. I can only imagine how tough it must be. Before I answer further, I’m going to give the caveat that it’s next to impossible to offer advice about any psychiatric problem without seeing you face to face, or at the very least, having all the salient information about mood, sleep, suicidal ideation etc. I’m going to assume off the bat that the diagnosis of depression has been established by the doctors you’ve seen.

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Answered By

Dr Shi Hui Poon

Psychiatrist

What alternatives are there to IMH for inpatient hospitalisation in Singapore?

Hope you are staying safe! I will assume you mean inpatient hospitalization for psychological difficulties. As far as I know (and information current as of 6 Oct 2020), NUH, SGH and Sengkang Hospital have very limited beds. Also, it will depend on the cause of your symptoms. For example, if it was found that a brain infection or an autoimmune condition was causing a patient's emotional difficulty, I believe the public hospitals will be able to accept the patient as long as the patient's emotional difficulty is not disruptive to the ward or the nurses are capable of taking care of them.

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Answered By

Human

Do I need to see a psychiatrist for possible acne-related depression?

Sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling with depression. Certain medical conditions, esp. those affecting the way we look, can definitely affect our self esteem and social lives. While I’m glad to hear that your skin condition has improved with treatment, I do think it would be helpful to have a chat with a psychiatrist to find out more about your condition, and if treatment (e. g. medications or psychotherapy) can help you cope better with these difficulties.

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Answered By

Dr Shi Hui Poon

Psychiatrist

Will polyclinics refer me to a private psychiatric clinic or a government-based one?

Hello! You can choose either of them during your talk with the polyclinic doctor. Thank you!

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Answered By

Human

How do I get help for mental illness in Singapore if I can't afford it?

You may seek the help of a medical social worker in public hospitals in Singapore, which have psychiatric departments to see patients with mental illnesses.

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Answered By

Dr Alvona Loh

General Practitioner

Where should I go to seek help in Singapore if I'm unsure whether I have mental issues?

Thank you for reaching out to us! I totally get what you mean about your thoughts, and honestly, you're not alone! I believe the determining factor in seeking help is when something disturbs and causes distress enough. A lot of individuals don't seek help for certain symptoms of an illness because it doesn't bother them (enough). So ask yourself this: Are you troubled by everything you stated? Does not fitting in to societal standards bother you? I have come across many people who come for assessment as they are concerned that they may have mental health issues.

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Answered By

Dr Shi Hui Poon

Psychiatrist

Will a mental health record prevent me from working as a doctor in Singapore?

Congratulations on getting a place in Medicine. Going by first principles: 1) Yes, you should always seek out help and support for your mental health issues. There have been some previous good answers on where you can turn to seek help more discreetly in Singapore: How do I get help for mental illness in Singapore? 2) You should never hide a record or medical condition that could negatively affect patient care. The repercussions, if you get found out later, could affect your career more adversely.

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Human

How is anxiety and depression diagnosed in Singapore?

The diagnosis of mental disorders is usually based on diagnostic criteria such as the DSM 5 (published by the American Psychiatric Association) or the ICD-11 (published by the World Health Organisation).

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Answered By

Dr Shi Hui Poon

Psychiatrist

How do I know what I need to reveal to my psychologist during therapy?

Thank you for sharing your intimate story. This sounds really terrible. Yes it certainly sounds like child abuse, and if you are not so old, it might still be a reportable offense to the police and MSF-Child protection services. Therapy is a two way street. The ability for the patient to benefit from this depends on the "Johari window". In simple terms: the more the therapist can reveal to you and the more you can reveal to the therapist, the wider the window.

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Answered By

Dr Paul Ang

General Practitioner

How can I get help if I have anxiety issues in Singapore?

Hi, I'm glad that you are trying to seek help. Anxiety is not an uncommon psychological condition which many people are reluctant to seek help for. In Singapore, there are GPs who have special interests in helping persons with various psychological conditions like anxiety, depression, etc. IMH would be an excellent place to find out where you can seek help for. Both Geylang and Queenstown Polyclinics also run clinics that provide help and support for those with psychological conditions. Thank you.

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Answered By

Dr Julian Ng

General Practitioner

Where can I get counselling and help for my mental state problems if I am unemployed?

You could try the following steps: 1. See a psychiatrist in a restructured hospital. They'll make the necessary referrals for you to see a counsellor/psychologist. If you are financially strapped, a medical social worker will help. 2. Seek counseling from your nearest family service centre. 3. Seek help from organisations specialising in mental health e. g. SAMH etc. They will be able to help you.

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Answered By

Dr Shi Hui Poon

Psychiatrist

How can I treat PTSD in Singapore?

Thank you for asking this question that will benefit a lot of patients. It is very terrible to have to undergo a traumatic experience. It is important to seek treatment as early as possible as it can lead to other mental health and physical health issues. The mainstay of treatment is still psychological, or "talk therapy". There could be many treatment types within psychological treatment. But the first step is getting yourself to the room of a trained clinical psychologist. These people should have a post graduate qualification in clinical/counselling psychology.

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Answered By

Dr Paul Ang

General Practitioner

Are there any alternatives like psychotherapy that are able to completely replace medication for anxiety and depression?

Can Psychotherapy Replace Medication? Psychotherapy is available for conditions such as anxiety and depression, however, whether or not they can replace medications depend on your individual condition and its progress and severity. Some people only require counseling for mental health conditions, some people require medications, some require both. It is best to speak to your healthcare provider first instead of replacing medications with psychotherapy on your own, in case it leads to a relapse of your mental condition due to non-compliance to medications.

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Answered By

Dr Alvona Loh

General Practitioner

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