Research has shown that women are twice as likely to be affected by panic attacks. The mean age at onset for panic attack in US is approximately 22-23 years old. This is more related to a weaker autonomic response to emotional states in older individual compared to younger individuals. Negative affectivity (i.e., proneness to experiencing negative emotions) and anxiety sensitivity (i.e., the disposition to believe that symptoms of anxiety are harmful) are risk factors for the onset of panic attacks, as well as worry about panic. Childhood experiences of sexual or physical abuse are more common in panic disorder. Smoking is a risk factor also for panic attacks and panic disorders. Personal stressors (e.g., interpersonal conflicts, diseases, or death in family, use of illicit drugs) are often identified as stressors before the first panic attack.
5 Common Problems We Face
As we step into the new year, let's look at 5 common problems people face and what we can do about it:
Post Natal Depression
All mums experience an intense emotional and physical transformation during pregnancy and the first year of a baby’s life, but for a significant proportion of us, this can lead on to full blown depression and anxiety and for a very small number, postnatal psychosis. The Baby Blues are a common expression for what happens to approximately 80% of all mums around the third to tenth day after birth. Because it is so common and temporary, we do not associate the Baby Blues as being a mental illness, but rather a natural state that is sure to pass once we settle into our new role as mothers. Symptoms include exhaustion, tearfulness, mood fluctuations, anxiety and irritability. Baby blues is thought to occur as a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy, the labour, breast feeding and lack of sleep.
Dealing with Holiday Stresses
Yes, that time of the year is upon us again! The upcoming holiday season can be a time of joy and peace. However, it can also be extremely stressful. There is increased pressure to put on a happy face and be merry, and that only makes things more difficult. Getting ready for the holidays means looking forward to good times, but it also means more work. It also means more time spent with relatives you may not really care to be with. Holiday parties, social gatherings, gift giving, family commitments, and personal responsibilities all require attention, planning, and energy - and these stresses can quickly damper your enjoyment of the holidays.
But there are several simple things you can do to make the holiday season more relaxing, meaningful, and stress-free for you and your family. Here are some tips for coping with holiday stresses:
Seeing our friend or family member going through their struggle with eating disorder is not easy. Many of us feel helpless and lost in terms of how we can be of support and help to them. Find out some do's, don'ts, and preventive tips for eating disorder.
In a relationship, couples weather many problems and issues. For couples where 1 partner is struggling with some mental health issues (e.g., depression, anxiety, Asperger, ADHD, OCD, etc.), they experience additional stressors which other couples do not have to undergo. Many of them, however, do not have awareness about these unique stressors. Instead, blame would often be attributed to the affected partner personally, i.e., being uncaring, selfish, unkind, or even abusive.
Coping with Anger
How do you cope with your anger? Do you know that there are 4 predominant styles and with each there are associated ways to change and manage our anger? Come and identify your specific style(s) and what to do.
Repeated Unhealthy Pattern in Our Lives
Often we seem to be trapped in the repeated cycle of doing unhealthy pattern of behaviours, over and over again, despite the pain and suffering we go through. Sometimes we might even have the insights that these behaviours came from unresolved issues from our past and yet felt helpless in changing them. Here's a poem for us to reflect upon.
Gaining Control over Alcohol
Alcohol has become part of the lifestyle of being an Expat in Singapore. For many people, it is not unusual to enjoy a bottle of wine with the meals, it’s a must to add some fun to the parties, and it’s something to do to de-stress and unwind at the end of a hard day. What some people don’t realize is that they have crossed the line from being a social drinker to having alcohol problems. Many people have this stereotypical picture of an alcoholic being someone who needs a drink every day, drinks from the moment they open their eyes, can’t go to work, sleep on the street, etc. What they don’t realize, addiction is defined by control: who has the control? You or the alcohol?
Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
We all worry at times about actual or potential problems. Why do we worry? Worrying is our brain’s way to prepare and anticipate for bad things happening. Moderate amount of worry is positive in that it helps us take precaution and avoid risky behaviours. Worrying becomes a problem when it distracts us from focusing on the solution or built our anxiety so high that it paralyzes us from taking actions. Worry that is too intense, too frequent, and too unrelenting can definitely cut down on our happiness and enjoyment of life. It can even impact our physical health.
Ms Ho Shee Wai