In 1966, the Beatles wrote about Eleanor Rigby and the lonliness and depression she experienced:
All the lonely people Where do they all come from? All the lonely people Where do they all belong?
Loneliness is something that most of us will feel at times in our lives. Some of us living in the city crave a quiet moment to ourselves from time to time, to reflect and think. Time for self is important, but loneliness is something completely different. It is never sought, and never wanted. Loneliness is something which happens to us but never by choice. It is little consolation for those already living with loneliness to know they are not alone in their suffering. There are many people today, facing the same situation. Recent research shows that people who have experience loneliness for over 3 years are likely to continue to experience loneliness.
Date Posted: May 10, 2013
Categories: Attachment Issues, Bullying, Codependency / Dependency, Depression / Bipolar, Emptiness, Ending a relationship issues, Happiness, Self-Esteem, Social Anxiety / Phobia, Social Isolation
Depression is a common illness, affecting people with very different lifestyles and backgrounds. Yet there are varying degrees of depression. Some kinds are much more incapacitating than others. Some people experience mild depression, which they recover from fairly quickly. This may happen after a divorce or during the grieving process. Mild depression can be recovered from in some cases without medication at all. Other more severe types of depression can take: medication, talking therapy or even psychiatric treatment to conquer.
Date Posted: March 8, 2013
Categories: Depression / Bipolar, Emptiness, Women's Issues
With clients who are dissatisfied with their lives and feel it is “all meaningless”, I have found it useful to ask “Are you doing what you really, really, want to do?” Initially many clients are a bit stunned by this question but then after a moment of reflection many reply “Absolutely not!”
This question has different meanings at each stage of our life span. By reflecting on the answer to this question, clients think about whether they are taking the right educational path or having the right job or profession. Others have in mind whether they are actualizing their creative or artistic abilities.
Date Posted: February 25, 2013
Categories: Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions, Career Development and Change, Depression / Bipolar, Emptiness, Happiness
The role of hardship in the association between socio-economic position and depression
The World Health Organization reports “Depression is the leading cause of disability as measured by YLD (Years Lost to Disability)”1 Depression could be described as a general feeling of sadness or unhappiness. There are several mechanisms used to discuss the cause of depression. Geneticists talk of gene defects that might make us more susceptible to depression; biochemists point to hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances; and neurologists blame anatomical changes in the brain. Most however agree that these traits are not predictive of depression, but simply predispose us to it.
Date Posted: November 16, 2012
Categories: Depression / Bipolar
“Hate is as injurious to the subject of hate as it is to the object of hate.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This statement made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been one of my lifelong favorites. It goes past the typical non-violence quote by concentrating on how violent thoughts affect those who entertain them. In that vein, I would like to discuss this topic in the context of a paper published in the Australian Journal of Psychology titled “Antisocial behaviour across the life course: An examination of the effects of early onset desistence and early onset persistent antisocial behaviour in childhood.”1 Of course, I am not suggesting that all antisocial behavior is defined by hate, but that hate is antisocial. I will discuss the paper in that context.
Date Posted: October 25, 2012
Categories: Adult psychological development, Antisocial personality, Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Depression / Bipolar
What if we had the ability to predict or even prevent mental illness? A study in the Australian Journal of Psychology1 suggests that we may be able to soon. We estimate that by 2030 depression will be the leading cause of disease burden worldwide2 This is forecasted despite the fact that our genetic and molecular understanding of the brain is advancing rapidly.
However, the Chinese Society of Psychiatry’s Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders-3 (CCMD-3), used by clinicians and researchers to guide them in making diagnoses regarding the mental health of patients, has not been updated to a degree compatible to those advances. The same is true of the CCMD-3 counterpart, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV; although they will be publishing the DSM-5 in March of 2013. The CCMD-3 has not been updated in over a decade and the DSM-IV has been around unchanged for three times as long.
Date Posted: September 27, 2012
Categories: Adult psychological development, Depression / Bipolar
Most of us worry about the possibility of getting physically sick at some time in our life and that is why insurance coverage of medical diseases is so common. However, how many of us even think about developing a psychological illness let alone get insurance coverage for it?
Yet a recent and very reliable survey in the United States (US) concluded that about half of the population will experience a mental disorder of some kind, at some time in their life (Kessler et al, 2005; Appendix).
Date Posted: April 16, 2012
Categories: Adult ADHD, Agoraphobia, Anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Bipolar, Depression / Bipolar, Drug Addiction, Obsessions & Compulsions (OCD), Oppositional & Defiant Behavior in Children & Teens, Phobias, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD
Worldwide, a large majority of those with mental illness fail to receive adequate treatment and hence undergo unnecessary suffering. Arguably as tragic is the suffering experienced by the family members who agonize about the inexplicable and seemingly never ending mental anguish of their loved one. In Singapore, for example, although depression is the most common mental health issue and there are a variety of treatments for it, only 31.8% of those with mental health problems such as depression receive professional treatment and do so only after years of delay e.g. four years for depression, 13 years for alcohol abuse. This means that 68.2 % of those needing help do not receive it and the 31.8 % of those who receive treatment wait 4 to 13 years before receiving it.
Date Posted: February 7, 2012
Categories: Depression / Bipolar, Prejudice / Discrimination, Psychology in Asia, Self help groups
As a practising psychologist in Singapore, I often receive calls from distraught family members asking what they can do if they have a family member or friend who they suspect is suffering from depression but who is reluctant to see a mental health professional. The main goal in this situation, is to make sure the person gets an appropriate diagnosis and then start treatment by a mental health professional if he or she does in fact have depression. This article contains a list of suggestions and possible interventions on how you can help the person achieve this goal.
Date Posted: January 25, 2012
Categories: Depression / Bipolar, Family Problems
On hearing of a newly published book on depression titled “My Voice; Overcoming”, I decided to contact the author, Mr Chua Seng Lee , to determine if there was some way of introducing this insightful book to readers of my blog. He was extremely friendly in our email exchanges and immediately agreed to meet up over coffee.
On the day of our appointment, I was not feeling very well due to a flare up of my arthritis. I did not want Seng Lee to think I was a sourpuss so after the introductions, I explained my physical discomfort. To my surprise he told me that he too had arthritis! Our sharing about how the condition affected our lives immediately brought us closer on a personal level and we easily segued into a discussion of his book and how it came into existence.
Date Posted: December 6, 2011
Categories: Depression / Bipolar