The Biggest Health Problem Singaporeans Worry About

Not an AI article: Written with love from scratch by yours truly.

Do you know what worries me about the society we live in?

It’s mental health.

According to Ipsos, the top health concern in 2023 in Singapore is mental health, overshadowing cancer as a distant second. We aren’t alone in this; this concern resonates globally, spanning 31 countries!

The escalating cost of living in Singapore has resulted in a reduction of disposable income for many locals, limiting expenditures beyond basic necessities. Concurrently, heightened work-related stress is evident due to sustained increases in workloads. Beyond economic factors, the perpetually accelerating pace of life further compounds these challenges.

Against this backdrop, is it not surprising that mental health issues are experiencing a notable uptick in Singapore?

The Mental Health Stigma in Singapore

Growing up as a millennial in Singapore, I was exposed to a society that traditionally stigmatised mental illness. If you had mental illness, you’d be labelled “siao” (crazy) and summarily shunned by the society at large.

This societal perspective also posed significant barriers such as job discrimination. Singapore agency TAFEP reported that half of 500 organisations were hesitant to employ persons with mental health conditions. This stigma is real.

Encouragingly, there has been a commendable effort by the Ministry of Health and corporations to destigmatise mental health, striving to integrate mental wellness into mainstream discourse.

Despite these positive initiatives, the mental wellness movement in Singapore is in its nascent stages. Many of my clients, for instance, remain discreet about their hypnotherapy sessions, avoiding discussions with family and colleagues. Some even opt for cash transactions to evade being tracked. Age demographics also contribute, with older individuals often choosing to keep their therapy sessions confidential.

Nonetheless, I sincerely look forward to the day where we can lightheartedly discuss mental issues over a cuppa, just as we openly share about how stressed we are.

To share a different perspective, a Swiss friend shared that it’s perfectly alright to openly acknowledge mental illness in his country. However, expressing stress is frowned upon because you’d be seen as incapable of managing your life. What a contrast! In Singapore, it’s the converse.

The Financial Toll of Mental Illness in Singapore

Absenteeism due to mental health-related sick leave poses a substantial financial burden on corporations, as employees continue to be remunerated during their absence.

A recent study conducted by the Duke-NUS Medical School and the Institute of Mental Health reveals alarming estimates regarding the economic impact of anxiety and depression symptoms alone. The projected cost to Singapore is staggering, amounting to nearly $16 billion annually, equivalent to 2.9% of the nation’s GDP. The mind-boggling figures haven’t even included the financial toll associated with more severe mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

This substantial loss in productivity, attributed to mental health issues, has the potential to significantly undermine a country that relies heavily on its human capital. It’s imperative that proactive measures be taken to address mental health in the workplace and mitigate the associated financial repercussions.

Singaporeans Increasingly Seek Mental Wellness Programmes

COVID-19 significantly disrupted the lives of individuals, with numerous businesses folding and widespread job redundancies. Those fortunate enough to retain their positions faced the daunting task of navigating rapidly evolving guidelines, and a more challenging work environment.

During this period, there was a notable surge in demand for mindfulness classes, a trend observed and reported by numerous yoga and meditation studios. In some instances, attendance tripled, reflecting a heightened interest in mental wellness. This sentiment was corroborated by my mentor, who conducts sound bath and yoga classes.

While it is encouraging to witness an increased focus on mental health well-being, it prompts a critical examination of the underlying causes. One contributing factor appears to be the pervasive stress and anxiety induced by the 24/7 online lifestyle facilitated by technology.

Although corporate mental wellness programmes have gained popularity, they are, at best, a temporary solution addressing the symptoms rather than the root causes of the issue. A more comprehensive approach is needed to address the fundamental factors impacting mental health in our society.

Can Mental Illness Cause Death?

In contemplating the relationship between mental illness and mortality, the Japanese term “karoshi,” denoting death from overwork, comes to mind. Although mental illness is seldom directly attributed as a cause of death, its influence on overall health and well-being is substantial.

In my hypnotherapy practice, I have observed the mind’s formidable capacity to either bring tranquility or chaos to an individual’s life. Clients have experienced intense emotions manifest as physical symptoms such as stabbing pains in the heart or sensations of burning without underlying medical conditions. I personally was the victim of chronic diarrhoea for years on end that was induced by grief. Mental wellbeing has far-reaching effects on physical health.

I dare say that mental illness is at the root of numerous physical conditions. Anecdotal evidence from my hypnotherapy practice reinforces this claim, revealing instances of pain relief, improved sleep, and other symptomatic ameliorations following hypnotherapy sessions.

Food for thought: If a mentally unsound person commits suicide, is mental illness the cause of death?

Many of my young clients have grappled with suicidal thoughts.

While mental illness may not lead to immediate fatality in most instances, its insidious effects are comparable to a slow erosion, akin to a thousand paper cuts. While I hope that mental illness never becomes a direct cause of death, statistics paint a grim future that suggests otherwise.

Emotional Bullets in the Body

During a discovery call, I often highlight the phenomenon of emotions becoming lodged within the body like a bullet in flesh. My clients are often surprised to hear this.

All it takes to comprehend this concept is common sense. Consider the classic emotion of anger. Muscles tense, faces flush, heart rates elevate—a cascade of physical reactions. “He makes my blood boil!” is a common remark made when one is emotionally provoked.

However, do these emotions simply dissipate once the triggering event concludes? Not necessarily. Think of the occasions when someone reminds you of a past unpleasant event and you yell, “I don’t want to talk about it!”.

Time doesn’t heal. Time conceals.

Like an invisible wound, the unpleasant emotions continue to fester and even lead to physical symptoms.

Emotional Release Through Hypnotherapy

Embedded in the subconscious mind lie the intricate foundations of your emotions and belief systems. Hypnosis is the gateway to accessing this part of the mind, with hypnotherapy serving as its therapeutic application.

My approach to hypnotherapy predominantly involves inner child healing—a technique aimed at addressing present triggers rooted in past experiences. Often, the emotions causing distress today originate from unresolved events in the past. As a young child encountering trauma, one lacked the emotional tools necessary for processing it, leading to the development of entrenched belief systems. Commonly encountered beliefs such as “I’m not good enough” intertwine with feelings of sadness, frequently observed in my practice.

The core of the therapeutic process involves guiding individuals into hypnosis to revisit their inner child, frozen in time with the burden of unpleasant emotions. Neutralising its source grants complete and permanent relief. Therapy may not erase the past but it offers peace and resolution, allowing individuals to reconcile with their past.

Achieve Lasting Mental Wellbeing with Hypnotherapy

I wholeheartedly advocate for the array of therapies contributing to the mental well-being of my fellow Singaporeans. I actively integrate mindfulness practices such as daily meditation into my routine.

Yet, a lesser-known truth exists: mindfulness, while beneficial, does not inherently address past trauma. Reflecting on my own journey, ten years ago, I incorporated meditation and breathing techniques into my healing practice with the hope that it would heal me. While helpful, they failed to uproot the underlying cause.

Mindfulness practices function akin to a temporary band-aid on a deeper, unresolved wound. Lasting relief from distressing emotions calls for the targeting and eliminating of the problem’s origin.

The powerful method capable of delving into and resolving these deep-seated issues is hypnotherapy. Through hypnosis, the doors to the subconscious mind open, allowing for comprehensive therapeutic intervention, leading to enduring mental wellness. The transformation often extends to physical health and overall well-being as a bonus!

At Radiant Flow, we offer a complimentary 20-minute discovery call. We aim to understand your challenges and delve into how hypnotherapy can facilitate lasting recovery. Don’t wait a moment longer! Submit your details by clicking here, and our team will promptly reach out to assist you.

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