Anxiety and Depression


A leading cause of disease burden in Singapore by Dr Chua Siew Eng Anxiety and depression are common, and cause significant disease burden in Singapore. They are highly treatable, but only one in three people with mental health problems will seek help. This article outlines symptoms of anxiety and depression, the “maladaptive” stress model, the […]

Opioid Dependency

doctor talking to her male patient at office

Opioids have been used by human beings for their analgesic and euphoric properties since 4000BC. Naturally-occurring opioids such as opium, morphine and codeine are derived from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) plant. The semisynthetic opiates are diamorphine (heroin), buprenorphine and oxycodone while the synthetic ones are pethidine, fentanyl and methadone. The neurological effects are mainly […]

Bipolar Disorder


Pharmacological and psychological treatment strategies Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterised by episodes of extreme mood disturbances with periods of normal mood in between. The lifetime prevalence of bipolar disorder in Singapore is 1.2%.1 The onset of bipolar disorder is usually between 15 and 25 years of age and the impact on both patients […]

Inhalant Abuse in Children and Adolescents


Inhalants are defined as hydrocarbon-based inhalant substances which fall into three main categories – solvents, gases and nitrites. Solvents are often contained in paint thinner, dry cleaning fluid, gasoline, glue, felt-tip marker fluid and correction fluids. Gases of abuse include butane, solvents used in room spraypaints, propane, hair spray ether, and nitrous oxide. Nitrites that […]

Infant Mental Health


Myth or Fact? We can fix any damage done early with love and attention later We aren’t affected by experiences we had as tiny babies because we didn’t have language yet We can’t remember things that happened before we could talk These are common beliefs held by many. It’s the reason why parents think it’s […]

Methamphetamine Addiction


Central nervous system stimulants such as amphetamines were used for the treatment of clinical depression and obesity until the 1970s, and then sporadically until the 1990s. Since then, there has been a widespread diversion of prescribed amphetamines and illicitly-prepared street amphetamine is freely available. There are two main forms of illicit amphetamine, namely amphetamine sulphate […]

Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-V) was published in May 2013. It has a new diagnostic category called ‘Trauma- and Stressor-related Disorders’. This category houses disorders which are considered specifically related to stress because they require exposure to a defined stressor as precursor. This includes Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Acute […]

USA: Outbursts of Anger Linked to Greater Risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes


Outbursts of anger may trigger heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems in the two hours immediately afterwards,  according to the first study to systematically evaluate previous research into the link between the extreme emotion and all cardiovascular outcomes. The researchers conclude: “Given the lessons we have learned from trying to treat depression after myocardial […]

Taking a Peek at Mental Health


The state of our mental health is crucial to our over-all well-being. As the old adage goes, “when the mind is weak, everything else becomes weak.” After all, the mind commands the body what to do and how to behave. Mental health is a subject area highly relevant to the Singaporean patient population. According to […]

Common Myths And Fallacies On Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Common Myths And Fallacies On Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Getting Fidgety by Dr Nelson Lee Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a relative common disorder affecting an estimated 3% to 5% of children and adolescents. It is a disorder characterised by three main domains of symptoms: hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. Symptoms of restlessness, hyperactivity […]

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