Mental Health Helplines And Resources
If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, contact the hotlines below to seek for help and emotional support.
Befrienders is a not-for-profit organisation providing emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to people who are lonely, in distress, in despair, and having suicidal thoughts without charge.
SOLS Health is a behavioural health centre that connects clients to accessible individual, family and community mental health and nutritional services with an emphasis on combating the stigma of mental health in Malaysia.
Clients with a monthly household income below a certain threshold will qualify for subsidized rates.
Life Line Association Malaysia
WAO Hotline: +603 7956 3488
WAO SMS/WhatsApp line, TINA : +6018 988 8058
General Enquiries: 03 7957 5636 / 0636
WAO provides free and confidential services to survivors of domestic violence, rape, and other forms of violence.
Malaysian Mental Health Association
Communication Pitfalls To Avoid
- Give easy answers or blithely tell your loved one everything is going to be okay.
- Stop your loved one from talking about their feelings or fears.
- Offer unsolicited advice or tell your loved one what they should do.
- Blame all of your relationship or family problems on your loved ones PTSD.
- Invalidate, minimize, or deny your loved ones traumatic experience
- Give ultimatums or make threats or demands.
- Make your loved one feel weak because they arent coping as well as others.
- Tell your loved one they were lucky it wasnt worse.
- Take over with your own personal experiences or feelings.
How Does Ptsd Happen
During a trauma, your body responds to a threat by going into âflight or fightâ mode. It releases stress hormones, like adrenaline and norepinephrine, to give you a burst of energy. Your heart beats faster. Your brain also puts some of its normal tasks, such as filing short-term memories, on pause.
PTSD causes your brain to get stuck in danger mode. Even after youâre no longer in danger, it stays on high alert. Your body continues to send out stress signals, which lead to PTSD symptoms. Studies show that the part of the brain that handles fear and emotion is more active in people with PTSD.
Over time, PTSD changes your brain. The area that controls your memory becomes smaller. Thatâs one reason experts recommend that you seek treatment early.
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The Five Stages Of Ptsd
According to Australasian Psychiatry, over 1.15 million Australians or around 4.4% of our population experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder each year, and that number is set to rise to rates higher than ever previously reported.
The groups of people in our community with the highest rates of PTSD emergency workers and Defence Force personnel were those called on in 2019 and 2020 to provide the bushfire response and assistance during COVID-19 quarantine and lockdowns.
While these rates are expected to increase within these careers, the percentage is also increasing among health care workers who were quarantined. These pandemic heroes are now suffering PTSD at higher rates than the general public, due to the impact of COVID-19.
Due to the traumatic events we are all seeing in our lifetime, the prevalence of PTSD in Australia will only increase.
PTSD has long been associated with armed and emergency services, but we are finding that so many more everyday Australians are now dealing with the consequences of traumatic events, resulting in more and more PTSD, says Dr Anja Kriegeskotten, The Banyans Health and Wellness Consultant Psychiatrist.
Added to this is Australias increase in mental illness in veterans, who currently suffer PTSD at rate of 17.7% in the four years after discharge.
Is There A Cure For Drug Induced Psychosis
There is no cure for drug-induced psychosis because it is not a disease in the traditional sense. Drug-induced psychosis subsides as the body metabolizes the substance that caused it in the first place however, there are some drugs that can cause psychosis symptoms for days, months, and even years after an individual stops taking them. With heavy use, cocaine, amphetamines, and sometimes alcohol can cause psychosis symptoms that persist well into sobriety.
The Challenge of Co-occurring Disorders
According to a report originally published in JAMA Psychiatry, people who have severe mental health disorders like schizophrenia are more likely to develop a substance use disorder than those who do not. Diagnosing co-occurring disorders and devising effective treatment plans are challenging when both of the disorders present with the same symptoms.
The Australia Governments National Drug Strategy suggests that healthcare professionals can distinguish between schizophrenia coupled with substance abuse and drug-induced psychosis alone by monitoring symptoms after an individual finishes the withdrawal stage. They can also look for the existence of prodromal symptoms of schizophrenia, including subtle personality changes, angry outbursts, odd thought patterns, and reclusiveness, prior to substance use.
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Identify Early Warning Signs
Flashbacks and dissociation may feel as though they come out of the blue and they may feel unpredictable and uncontrollable. However, there are often some early signs that you may be slipping into a flashback or a dissociative state.
For example, your surroundings may begin to look fuzzy or you may feel as though you’re separating from or losing touch with your surroundings, other people, or even yourself. Flashbacks and dissociation are easier to cope with and prevent if you can catch them early on. Therefore, it’s important to try to increase your awareness of their early symptoms.
Next time you experience an episode, revisit what you were feeling and thinking just before the flashback or dissociation occurred. Try to identify as many early symptoms as possible. The more early warning signs you can come up with, the better able you will be to prevent future episodes.
Tip : Deal With Volatility And Anger
PTSD can lead to difficulties managing emotions and impulses. In your loved one, this may manifest as extreme irritability, moodiness, or explosions of rage.
People suffering from PTSD live in a constant state of physical and emotional stress. Since they usually have trouble sleeping, it means theyre constantly exhausted, on edge, and physically strung outincreasing the likelihood that theyll overreact to day-to-day stressors.
For many people with PTSD, anger can also be a cover for other feelings such as grief, helplessness, or guilt. Anger makes them feel powerful, instead of weak and vulnerable. Others try to suppress their anger until it erupts when you least expect it.
Watch for signs that your loved one is angry, such as clenching jaw or fists, talking louder, or getting agitated. Take steps to defuse the situation as soon as you see the initial warning signs.
Try to remain calm. During an emotional outburst, try your best to stay calm. This will communicate to your loved one that you are safe, and prevent the situation from escalating.
Give the person space. Avoid crowding or grabbing the person. This can make a traumatized person feel threatened.
Ask how you can help. For example: What can I do to help you right now? You can also suggest a time out or change of scenery.
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Track Triggers And Symptoms
Keeping track of moods and symptoms might help a person understand what triggers a depressive episode. Spotting the signs of depression early on may help them avoid a full-blown depressive episode.
Use a diary to log important events, changes to daily routines, and moods. Rate moods on a scale of 1 to 10 to help identify which events or activities cause specific responses. See a doctor if symptoms persist for 14 days or more.
Are There Physical Problems That Are Commonly Associated With Ptsd
People with PTSD may also experience physical symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, fatigue, muscle tension, nausea, joint pain, headaches, back pain or other types of pain. The person in pain may not realize the connection between their pain and a traumatic event. For people with chronic pain, the pain may actually serve as a reminder of the traumatic event, which in turn may intensify PTSD symptoms. Some people who develop PTSD and chronic pain also experience depression and alcohol and prescription medication misuse. Chronic PTSD has been shown to increase the risk of having a variety of health issues and decreased life expectancy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the perception of the lethal threat of the virus has been associated with stress and trauma-related somatic symptoms.
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Consequences Of Forgoing Bipolar Disorder Treatment
The National Alliance of Mental Health has reported that there are serious risks in deciding not to treat diagnosed bipolar disorder. Some of the consequences that can occur with untreated bipolar disorder include:
- Having more severe episodes of mania and/or depression
- Displaying risky behaviors, taking dangerous chances
- Extreme changes in energy, activity level, sleep
- Partaking in excessive drinking, drug abuse
- Greater risk of suicidal ideation
- Experience long lasting periods of unstable moods
- Suffer from higher death rates from cancer, heart disease or stroke
- Symptoms become more pronounced and debilitating
- Increased involvement in illegal substances
- Periods of irrational behaviors
About one-half of all people who have bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness do not receive treatment. While bipolar disorder is a chronic lifelong condition, treatment is effective and frees those from harsh unrelenting episodes of mania and/or depression. Untreated bipolar disorder will display symptoms and behaviors that worsen, becoming more pronounced over time.
A Bipolar Disorder Psychiatrist in Atlanta is a Phone Call Away
Proper diagnosis and treatment is just a phone call away. If you suffer from recurring mood swings and episodes of mania or depression and find it increasingly difficult to manage your life, friends, family or work, call for a confidential appointment and expert diagnosis. Make the call that can change your life for the better.
What Are The Effects Of Ptsd
There are many. They may include disturbing flashbacks, trouble sleeping, emotional numbness, angry outbursts, and feelings of guilt. You might also avoid things that remind you of the event, and lose interest in things that you enjoy.
Symptoms usually start within 3 months of a trauma. But they might not show up until years afterward. They last for at least a month. Without treatment, you can have PTSD for years or even the rest of your life. You can feel better or worse over time. For example, a news report about an assault on television may trigger overwhelming memories of your own assault.
PTSD interferes with your life. It makes it harder for you to trust, communicate, and solve problems. This can lead to problems in your relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. It also affects your physical health. In fact, studies show that it raises your risk of heart disease and digestive disorders.
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Symptoms Of A Mixed Episode
A mixed episode of bipolar disorder features symptoms of both mania or hypomania and depression. Common signs of a mixed episode include depression combined with agitation, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, distractibility, and racing thoughts. This combination of high energy and low mood makes for a particularly high risk of suicide.
How Long Do Ptsd Triggers Last
Your symptoms can come and go when you have post-traumatic stress disorder . Its possible you feel fine until you see an image or hear a noise that reminds you of your past trauma. Triggers make it even more challenging to manage your PTSD because they can set off a chain of emotions and events in your mind.
Certain triggers will bring back strong memories and activate your PTSD instantly. These episodes can make you feel like youre reliving the trauma all over again. Triggers include sights, sounds, smells, or thoughts that remind you of your traumatic event in some way. Understanding triggers better, how long they last, and how to cope with them can help you to avoid future suffering.
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How To Treat Complex Ptsd
Though Complex PTSD is relatively new from a clinical standpoint, the treatment options often closely mirror the care that someone with PTSD or other mental disorders would receive. Most likely, the first option is psychotherapy, group therapy, self-help, hospitalization, or a combination of anything previously mentioned plus medicine to control the symptoms.
Bipolar Disorder And Suicide
The depressive phase of bipolar disorder is often very severe, and suicide is a major risk factor. In fact, people suffering from bipolar disorder are more likely to attempt suicide than those suffering from regular depression. Furthermore, their suicide attempts tend to be more lethal.
The risk of suicide is even higher in people with bipolar disorder who have frequent depressive episodes, mixed episodes, a history of alcohol or drug abuse, a family history of suicide, or an early onset of the disease.
Suicide warning signs include:
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Prevalence And Symptoms Of Ptsd
According to the National Center for PTSD, approximately 7-8% of people in the U.S. will develop PTSD during their life10% of women and 4% of men. To be diagnosed with this condition, a person will have symptoms that include several of these:
- Recurrent and distressing memories or dreams of the traumatic event
- Prolonged or noticeable psychological and/or physiological reactions to cues resembling the experience
- Flashbacks of the event or emotional/psychological dissociation when triggered
- Avoidance of thoughts, feelings, people, places, or any reminders of what happened
- Difficulty remembering details of the event
- Changes in mood, memory, or thinking patterns
- Hypervigilance, sleep problems, anger outbursts, or self-destructive behavior
While all these symptoms can cause significant impairment, some are more challenging to manage than others. This is largely due to the amygdala, a structure deep in the brain that is best known for our fight or flight response. When in danger, the amygdala assigns an emotional tag to any experience that could be life-threatening, and its function is automatically prioritized over other areas of the brain, including those that govern reasoning and memory.
Blowout Arguments With Partners Coworkers Or Friends
Broken relationships are too often the result of untreated bipolar disorder.
But getting into a spat with a loved one could also be a red flag: Your argument could be due to the irritability that often occurs during a manic or depressive episode, or could itself cause stress that becomes a contributing factor for a recurrent episode.
Any type of relationship conflict whether its with your partner, coworker, family member, or friend can trigger stress and send you over the edge. In a study published in May 2015 in the Journal of Affective Disorders, people with bipolar disorder said negative social experiences were among the events that triggered suicidal thinking for them.
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Ptsd Episodes: Flashbacks And Dissociation
The amygdala doesnt forget anything that it has deemed as dangerous and doesnt discern whether the threat is real or imagined. This plays a big role in untreated PTSD, especially when these symptoms occur:
- Flashbacks are a nightmarish and intense reliving of a traumatic event. Whether it is momentary or lasts a few minutes, hours, or even days, someone going through a flashback is unable to distinguish it from reality. Flashbacks are uncontrollable and are very vivid, likely evoking strong sensory memories associated with the trauma that was endured and the environment in which it happened.
- Dissociation occurs when a person feels separate or disconnected from their body and surroundings as though they are observing things from outside of themselves. This tends to occur automatically as a coping mechanism to manage traumatic memories and the emotions associated with them. Like flashbacks, dissociative episodes can be fleeting or last for a long time.
How Do I Get Help
If you think youve got symptoms of psychosis, its a good idea to seek help as soon as possible.
The earlier you get help, the better the results and the quicker your recovery. General Practitioners and clinicians at your local mental health service will be able to provide the help you need.
Treatments for psychosis usually include:
- support from family, community and/or mob
- practical support, like helping the person get back to school or work).
When recovering from psychosis, its really important to manage other stresses in life. Avoiding drugs and learning better ways to cope with stress can help stop the symptoms from coming back in the future.
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Do Some Parts Of Ptsd Last Forever
Often, PTSD can be completely overcome . Sometimes, though, there are lingering effects. Living with PTSD can be a nightmare for multiple reasons, including the fact that positive feelings, trust, and a sense of closeness and intimacy seem out of reach for a long time. With time and treatment, though, most people greatly improve and are once again able to enjoy positive relationships.
However, approximately five- to 10 percent of people who developed PTSD after a trauma continue to have long-term relationship problems . Even when someone experiences ongoing relationship problems, therapy can help diminish them over time. Further, other effects of PTSD disappear, making the lingering relationship difficulties a bit easier to deal with.
According to the National Center for Victims of Crime , in people who have been raped, the trauma and resulting PTSD may cause permanent physiological changes in the brain . These individuals tend to have a lasting inability to
- Accurately gauge the passage of time, so they are very frequently early or late for work/events/obligations, or they dont show up at all
- See the big picture to determine if a problem is big or small to these individuals, every little problem seems like a crisis.
Some effects of PTSD do last years or a lifetime, but most do not.