What is Depression and Anxiety?
Depression and anxiety disorders are mental conditions which affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, behaviours and overall health. They disrupt the normal functioning in daily life and bring distress to both the affected person and his loved ones.
HIV-infected individuals frequently suffer from depressive and anxiety symptoms from personal to social stresses such as social stigmatisation and issues with grief and loss. They can be reluctant to seek help and social support for fear of rejection, as they harbour feelings of shame and guilt.
However, these emotional disturbances have the potential to interfere with the general well-being of individuals. There is evidence that individuals with anxiety and depressive symptoms have poorer adherence to medical treatment regimens, increased vulnerability to infections and disease progression.
What Can You Do?
Early detection of anxiety and depressive symptoms enable healthcare providers to provide timely treatment.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, please speak to your doctor or social worker so they can help manage your symptoms.
What are the Symptoms?
- Feeling low
- Loss of interest / pleasure in all, or almost all activities
- Change in appetite leading to weight loss or weight gain
- Sleep changes e.g. insomnia or sleeping excessively
- Agitation or restlessness
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of helplessness or excessive/inappropriate guilt
- Poor concentration or indecisiveness
- Frequent thoughts of death or suicide
- Agitation or restlessness
- Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbance e.g. difficulty falling or staying asleep
What is the Psychological Wellness Programme?
This programme is a service provided by the National Centre for Infectious Disease (NCID) and the department of Psychological Medicine at TTSH.
The programme screens patients for anxiety and depressive symptoms and provide treatment services if needed.
A care coordinator will be in touch with you on your second visit to the NCID clinic. We will be enquiring about your mental health and collecting information that will help us better meet your medical needs. This service is available to all HIV-infected individuals who first present to our outpatient clinic.
However, if you should decide not to utilise the service, please be assured that your medical care will continue as usual.
Psychological Wellness Programme Flow Chart
Care and Counselling
Our medical social workers will attend to you and your families as you experience challenges in coping with and managing emotional, psychological, social, environmental and practical issues. Together with the multi-disciplinary team and community organisations, we aim to facilitate your treatment process, optimise your individual well-being and enhance your family functioning and community integration.
We offer the following inpatient and outpatient services: