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Let's talk life - Suffering from anxiety disorder

Published:Saturday | April 14, 2012 | 12:00 AM
  • Suffering from anxiety disorder

Dear Counsellor,

Recently I have been feeling nervous and not sleeping well. I was involved in a motor-vehicle crash, and since then I have been having panic attacks. It is unpredictable and I feel my heart beating fast and I have to be breathing deeply. I was placed on anxiolytic medications with some relief.

- Janice

Dear Janice,

Anxiety disorders are common outcome after a disaster or a tragedy. Panic attacks and post-traumatic disorder can coexist and need to be treated. People who have near-death experiences tend to develop post-traumatic stress disorder. The traumatic experience persists in current memory and the individual keeps on reliving the episode. Medication is not the only treatment as there is psychotherapy also.

Cognitive behaviour therapy is a very useful tool to deal with anxiety.

A medical evaluation is urgently needed as the heart needs to be checked. There are several causes of palpitation, so you need to see the general practitioner for a thorough assessment.

  • My son is a slow learner

Dear Counsellor,

My son has been diagnosed with mild intellectual disability. He is slow to learn and so he is not reading fluently.

- Angela

Dear Angela,

Many children have intellectual disability and have difficulty learning in school. You need to get a psycho-educational assessment done on him. This will tell you the level that he is functioning. He will require one-on-one teaching, so that he can learn the basics of mathematics and English. He will need to be channelled into skill training so that he can earn money and take care of himself. Some children were born with disability so parents have to learn to accept what they were given and help their children to optimise their potential. Parents need to grieve the lost of a normal child and make the best of the situation. If you are depressed about the situation, you will need to talk to a therapist. If the depression is moderate to severe then you will need to see the psychiatrist.

Your son may have esteem issues so you will need to highlight his strengths so that he will feel encouraged.

  • Study tips

Dear Counsellor,

I am taking examination in June of this year. I need some tips to help me to study.

- John

Dear John,

It's study time again and the midnight light is burning. You need to revise the work and practise past papers. You need to cover the syllabus and quiz yourself. When you look at past papers, you will have ideas of areas that you need to know. Don't wait until the last minute to revise. Have an area to study at home and make a study timetable.

Email questions and feedback for Dr Yvonnie Bailey-Davidson to or call 978-8602.