The Go Slow to Go Fast Festival was a month-long event that began on the 5th of September in conjunction with Suicide Awareness Day and drew to an end on the 10th of October on World Mental Health Day. The month-long event involved a series of workshops catered towards maintaining a work-life balance, having conversations about mental health, knowing what our personal styles are, achieving self-care, and developing communication skills.
For our opening and closing ceremonies, Experts by Experience and No Holds Barred: Our Experts Answer your Burning Questions, we received a myriad of questions that may not have been answered. So here, we’ve compiled a list of what you yourselves may want answers to.
I've been feeling sad and unproductive during the quarantine. Could you give me insights on how to keep up with this quarantine and to be less sad and empty?
I am sorry to hear about that and I am aware this can be a challenge. As we know humans are longing for connections, and having to practice social distancing can be distressing for some people. One thing I can suggest we do is that we can connect with our family members and friends via online platforms, e.g: to have a weekly Zoom check-in, or create a group chat to include people we feel comfortable to chit chat with. Another suggestion is to create a structure and incorporate that into our daily routine, e.g: 45min of exercise at 6:30 pm, 30min of reading time at 9 pm. This will help us to manage expectations and have something to look forward to throughout the day. I hope this helps~
BRAVE Program Manager, Counselling Psychologist
Please help me to understand the differences between Stress & Depression.
Thank you for your question. Some of the symptoms and effects of stress and depression are very similar that it makes people confused, yet there’s a big difference between stress and depression. Stress is the buildup of our mental or emotional pressure, usually triggered by recent life events. It is not a disorder but might cause depression or anxiety if one does not regulate their stress well. On the other hand, Depression is a disorder that is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness and hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure which might cause one to not do things that they usually enjoy over a prolonged period of weeks as well as for some, might experience suicidal thoughts. Hope that this answers your question. And if you would like to, you could use Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) to measure your emotional states of depression, anxiety or stress. BEAR IN MIND that this is not a diagnosis tool and should one experience significant emotional difficulties, please do not hesitate to seek for our services :)
Teoh Rhu Yie
Clinical Coordinator, Clinical Psychologist
I have known cases child with LD develop anxiety, trauma and stress and end up as mental health patient. How can this be prevented? Who should be responsible? The parent or the school or the health professional?
Thank you for your question. It is unfortunately true that children with LD have a higher risk of developing mental health issues. They may for example experience feelings of failure and increased stress if they are being asked to do something extremely challenging to them due to their LD or fail to meet expectations. Repeated experiences such as these may cause them to think negatively about themselves, which in turn may lead to symptoms of depression or anxiety. Prevention starts with awareness; when parents, teachers and the child (as self-expectations often play a role) know about the LD and know what to expect, expectations will be adjusted. Next, parents and teachers can support the child by:
1) teaching him or her how to deal with the LD, and very important,
2) teaching and modeling how to deal with challenging situations such as difficult tasks or making mistakes.
By promoting the child’s emotional resilience, and for instance, instilling the idea that he/she is more than the LD or that every individual has his strengths and weaknesses, the child will be able to bounce back from future setbacks and develop into an emotionally healthy adult. All adults should work together supporting the child; each with their own expertise. Parents are the experts regarding their child, teachers are experts regarding academic learning and mental health professionals have expertise on how to deal with mental health issues; formulating one plan and working together towards the mutual goal of the child’s well-being will bring about the best results.
Dr Leoniek Kroneman
Director of Research & Advocacy, Clinical Consultant, Clinical Psychologist
My boyfriend is very stressed at work & long work hours everyday (back home daily after 8:30pm). He always choose to show his black face and not wanting to talk it out. Worst, he has no mood to cultivate relationship with me. How?
Answer: Hi there. Thank you so much for sharing your concern with us. There’s this common saying that communication is key in a relationship. More often than not, we would expect our partner to act or communicate in the same way that we do. Unfortunately, that is not the case, especially between a man and a woman. For most women, communication could be defined simply as talking about your feelings – something that many men are unable or unwilling to do. However, here are some tips that you could try to connect or communicate with your significant other:
1) Pay attention to his body language - men may not tell you how they feel, but it definitely shows through their body language. When he is in a tense mood, no matter how tempting it is, try and resist to prod him. Give him space and time for the storm to pass. When he is more relaxed and at ease, he might find it easier to share and talk about what’s bothering him.
2) Do something fun together - for a guy who has trouble talking about his feelings, having him sitting down and talking one-on-one might make him feel awkward and even more difficult to talk it out. Instead, plan a fun activity that both of you can do together.This takes the pressure off, gives him something to focus on, and this could make it easier for him to loosen up and talk freely.
3) Be direct but in an assertive way - Instead of beating around the bush, or dropping hints, men would appreciate more if you are direct with them. The other important thing to note is to communicate your needs assertively and not condescendingly. For example, If you ask, “Why don’t you ever tell me how you feel?” you’ll get nowhere. Instead, try this, “I want to get know you better. I want to understand how you feel about this. It’s important to me.”
4) There is no textbook or “one way” to get a guy to talk about how he feels. Every man is unique, and every relationship too. However, if you and your partner are committed to each other and your relationship, and committed to learning and growing as individuals, then together you can learn to remove the barriers and communicate better.
Liana Mohd. Nawi
Director of Professional Services, Clinical Psychologist
If you have questions that you want answers to but missed our Experts by Experience and our No Holds Barred: Our Experts Answer your Burning Questions sessions and don’t want to have to watch the entire video, we’ve got you covered! Check out our YouTube playlist in the link down below:
Links to other Go Slow to Go Fast content: