How is anxiety and depression diagnosed in Singapore?
I'm a 21 year old female currently studying in university full-time. I have anxiety problems since young (untreated) which still exists till now. I feel tremendous stress when I have to go to somewhere for the first time, and also during social gatherings and presentations. I would like to know how anxiety and depression is diagnosed in Singapore please.
The diagnosis of mental disorders is usually based on diagnostic criteria such as the DSM 5 (published by the American Psychiatric Association) or the ICD-11 (published by the World Health Organisation).
Some of the common symptoms of depression include:
- Low mood, most of the day, almost everyday
- Lack of interest or pleasure in activities
- Sleep disturbances
- Changes in weight
- Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or guilt
- Poor concentration or indecisiveness
- Recurrent thoughts of death
Some common symptoms of generalized anxiety include:
- Excessive anxiety and worry, which are often difficult to control
- Feelings of restlessness or feeling on edge
- Sleep disturbances
- Poor concentration or mind going blank
- Muscle tension
As you can tell from the above, the symptoms of depression and anxiety can overlap. Therefore, I would highly suggest seeking psychiatric help for a formal diagnosis of depression or anxiety (or something else) as it may be confusing for the layperson to try to diagnose him or herself!
Furthermore, there are several diagnoses under the umbrella of anxiety disorders (incl. generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder etc.), and some individuals may suffer from one or more of these conditions.
A psychiatrist will be able to make an accurate diagnosis and offer personalized treatment options based on a thorough assessment involving extensive history taking, physical and mental state examination. Sometimes, certain blood investigations and/ or brain scans may be required to make a diagnosis.
Since you're currently studying in a university, you can consider seeking help from the school psychology clinic if there is one available.
All the best!