For Patients & Families – Anxiety


Panic attacks, Tension, Anxiety & Stress

Many people worry about their health, finances, family and elderly worry about falls and life changes. These could be normal worries.

However, anxiety disorders in various forms are one of the most common emotional health problems in Singapore, according to the Singapore Mental Health Survey. Here we will discuss symptoms of some anxiety disorders which may require further evaluation by your doctor or psychiatrist.

Symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder

When worries become excessive and hard to control, affecting your daily function, you should seek help. Symptoms may include:

  1. Excessive anxiety and worries
  2. Poor sleep
  3. Restless and feeling on the edge
  4. Feeling tired easily
  5. Poor concentration, mind going blank
  6. Irritable
  7. Muscle tension

Panic attacks & Panic disorder

You might be suffering from Panic Disorder if you have repeated unexpected panic attacks. A sudden onset of the following symptoms may occur during a panic attack:

  1. Pounding and racing heart beat
  2. Sweating
  3. Tremors or shaking
  4. Shortness of breath
  5. Chest pain or tightness
  6. Giddy
  7. Numbness or tingling
  8. Fear of losing control

You might be fearful of having another panic attack and some individuals avoid using public transport, being in enclosed or crowded space, or even being alone for fear of having another panic attack and not being able to seek help or resulting in embarrassment.

Could something be causing this?

Some common medical problems might present with anxiety symptoms. This include heart problems, thyroid and gastric problems as well as low blood sugar. Our psychiatrist will work with you to rule out these causes and seek prompt medical attention as needed.

People with an anxious personality who tend to worry about everyday issues since young and stressful life events such as marital conflicts or problems at work are risk factor for developing anxiety disorders.

Treatment is available and effective

Our psychiatrists can work with you on the options of medication. You do not need to take it for life and we can advise you on the duration of medication and work with you to tail off medications.

Other treatment options that will be discussed with you include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is a well established and highly effective therapy that focuses on identifying, understanding and changing thinking and behavior patterns that increase fear. We can teach you techniques of deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and mindfulness.

Discuss with your psychiatrist an option that you are comfortable with and draw up an individualized plan for your recovery.