Stress and Mental Health

Stress and Mental Health

Living in a busy city like Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya and other big cities in the world will certainly challenge our mental well being. Traffic jams is almost the norms of daily commuting and not the exception. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the morning rush hour is a dreaded moment for every working person.

Therefore, it is important for us to learn how to manage stress and improve our resources to better cope with it. Long standing stress will lead to exhaustion, burn out, insomnia, depression, excessive anxiety, alcohol or illicit drug abuse and health problems.

Here is a recent talk on Stress Management .

Click here for the talk

Bullying and its psychiatric implications

Bullying and its psychiatric implications

Researchers have consistently showed that the victims of bullying suffers long term psychiatric problems such as anxiety, panic attack, Post traummatic stress disorder, Depressive illness, low self confidence and suicidal behaviour.

I have seen a 10 year old patient who is so traummatized by physical and emotional bullying in school that he expressed suicidal thoughts even at such a young age. Are we aware of the environment that our children is exposed to in their school ? Bullying can occurs in many forms. It could also be in subtle forms such as name calling and being rejected/boycott by certain group of friends. So we need to listen to our children and help them to cope in their social world.

Here is an informative interview by psychiatrist  from NIMH ( National Institute of Mental Health, USA )


Family Work Life Balance

Learning to hit the balance between work and family is always a challenge to many of us, including myself. I have heard many stories about parents  who work very very hard to earn money and to provide for the family but less time to spend at home. As a result, some of their children or teenagers were noted to be suffering from emotional difficulties or psychiatric illness.

The key to work-family-life balance is having clear priorities. And we need to constantly remind ourselves about things that truly matters. The late Steve Jobs  shared that he practiced living each day as if it is the last day of his life.

As for me, I try to be aware of not being overwork and have too little time for my family. I want to capture those special moments with my family, friends and my local community. I need to spend personal time too to take stock of each week and rejuvenate or recharge my internal “battery”, which is crucial for my own mental health.

Do you know that children spell love differently that most adults do?

Children spell love as T.I.M.E.

Healthy parents don’t find time, they make time.





Money can buy house but cannot buy home,


Money can buy watch but cannot buy time,


Money can buy a bed but cannot buy a good night sleep,


Money can buy books but cannot but understanding,


Money can buy medical treatment but cannot buy health,


Money can buy gifts but cannot buy relationships,


Money can buy a wedding ring but cannot buy love.


Letter from a father

I quote from one of the Chicken Soup for the soul series , entitled The Wisdom of Dads.

The following is a letter of apology from a father. It remind us as fathers, to be the rock solid role model for our children. Our children look up to us as their childhood Hero.

Let us, as fathers continue to learn about nurturing healthy relationships and healing hurting relationships in our families. In moments of intense emotions e.g. anger, frustration, fears, hatred or disappointment, we need to exercise self restraint and learn to calm down before we say those irreversible hurting words to one another. Let us learn to forgive and accepts each others strengths and weaknesses.

For I believe that one of the greatest pain in life is regret.

Apology to a Child

By the time that you can read this
You may not know me well
But then again, we may be close
You can never really tell.

You used to call me “Daddy”
I used to hold you tight
I used to bathe you everyday
And tuck you in a night.

I should have held your Mommy more
We should have sat and talked
The love grew cold, the words got hot
And then one day I walked.

I cried the night I left you all
I cried again today
It seems sometimes that’s all I’ve done
Since that night I went away.

I hope you know I love you
Though I wasn’t always there
I think about you constantly
And you’re always in my prayers.

I hope someday you’ll understand
That this thing hurt me, too
I hope you’ll know, I always have
And always will love you.

Last night I drove to where you live
I saw your bedroom light
I sat and watched and thought of you
Until the sky grew bright.

I am not the man I used to be
I’ve learned a lot since then
I wish that I could turn back time
And live with you again.

But I can’t change the things I’ve done
Or take back things I’ve said
All I can do is write these words
While lying here in my bed.

I hope that when you read this
You will know this one thing’s true
That no one else in this whole world
Means more to me than you.

by Ron Wutka

Global burden for psychiatric illness


The Global burden of Disease 2010 is a worldwide survey to determine the severity of diseases in affecting our lives. It measures how each disease affect our human life span and reduces quality of life.

Here is a video summary of Global Burden of Disease 2010 for Psychiatric or Mental Disorder by LANCET.