Experts say that family bonds are an important factor in mental health, according to a recent article in the Straits Times. The Chinese New Year and other special events allow families time to bond, to create memories, and to enjoy the feelings of warmth and goodwill that come from being together. These occasions have a deeper, more meaningful benefit to those struggling with poor mental health in Singapore.

Resilience and Relationships

Leow Lilyn, a psychologist in Singapore at the Institute of Mental Health, explains that “memories of strong family bonds have been found to create resilience in kids.” Children who feel secure in their family relationships are more likely to bounce back after a traumatic or stressful incident. They are happier, healthier, and better able to withstand what life may bring.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Of course, the stronger the bond between family members, the better it is for mental health, in both adults and children. Authentic, deep relationships are ideal, especially when those relationships are reciprocal rather than one-sided. However, even families with weaker relationships receive some of those benefits. According to Dr. Chua Siew Eng, a psychiatrist in Singapore and a consultant at a counselling centre, “So long as one derives pleasure or meaning from such interaction, no matter how infrequent it is, it can still contribute to happiness. And perhaps, one day, the ties might even be strengthened.”

The Risk of Isolation

Some studies have revealed that isolation and loneliness can increase the chances of illness. People who feel lonely, isolated, rejected, or unwanted are much more prone to dementia, depression, anxiety, and other issues. That’s why it is so important to connect with the family members in your life whenever possible, whether it’s during the holidays or sometime in between.

For people who cannot be with family on celebratory occasions or on festive holidays, those times of the year can actually bring more sorrow and loneliness, according to Dr. Tan Hwee Sim. “People who feel they don’t fit in with the festive joy may become depressed,” she warns.

Anxiety and Apprehension

Other people may struggle with stress related to seeing relatives they rarely encounter. They may feel anxiety about their relatives’ well-meaning inquiries, or about the potential for criticisms or conflict. If someone is having money trouble, has gained a lot of weight, or is trapped in addiction, that individual might feel more stressed than overjoyed about reconnecting with family.

Self-Care and Healthy Relationships

If you’re suffering from mild depression or a recent onset of anxiety about family gatherings or relationships, visit a psychiatrist in Singapore. It’s best to get help right away when these feelings surface, so they don’t become a long-term issue for you.

Visit Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic for a consultation in our comfortable, inviting offices. We’ll keep your information private and care for you to the best of our ability, using the top treatment and therapy options that are available. Once you take care of your own mental health, you’ll be better able to enjoy those family festivities and create the bonds that ensure a happier future.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Straits Times, 24 January, 2017