Monthly Archives: February 2017

Words can change everything

Try this simple exercise below:

  1. Firstly, think about a snack that you love eating. Write it down. Make sure the words that you use do describe the taste and scent of the snack.
  2. Spend some time to imagine how it feels like when you are salivating, pay attention to how the saliva tastes like, the smoothness at the back of the teeth. Now, think about what happens to the saliva when you eat this snack and digest it. Please write down your feelings and thoughts during salivating.
  3. Now, imagine there is a clean drinking glass in front of you, you split the saliva into the glass. Now, imagine you are drinking the saliva. Please write down your thoughts and feelings.
  4. Finally, imagine your favourite snack is right in front of you now, you are ready to eat it. But before you eat it, you spit some saliva on the snack. Do you still want to eat the snack? When you imagine eating this snack (with saliva spat), please write down your thoughts and feelings.

This is one of the famous ACT exercises, most people get the “effects” when they did this for the first time. Do you realize how words and language can change your feelings? And at any time, most of your thoughts are constructed by words, how often our experience are affected and changed by those words in our daily lives? Can you imagine if there isn’t languages? What happens to our thoughts and our struggle with thoughts if there weren’t any words and languages? Can you see a way of gaining some distance from your thoughts (from those words) instead of being fused in them, believing them 100%?

Introducing “David & Goliath” (2013)

“We would like to know who the person or persons [who killed our daughter] are, so we could share, hopefully, a love that seems to be missing in these people’s lives”

The full story about this quote is in the non-fiction, “David & Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants” by Malcolm Gladwell. This is the second time I’m reading his book (the first was “Outliers: The story of Success“), which was also a Christmas present from the UK.

Of course it’s not just about one true story, but this one mentioned above in particular strikes me a little more. His book is again, thought-provoking, counter-intuitive, entertaining, intriguing, based on scientific evidence and real stories. I can’t say better words for it. Do get a copy and read it. (I happen to have two copies as my friend sent it to me two years in a row, so if you’d like a free copy just get it from me).

By Malcolm Gladwell

By Malcolm Gladwell

Statistics: Mental Health in Malaysia

  • Every 3 in 10 adults aged 16 years and above have some sorts of mental health problems (29.2%).
  • The prevalence of mental health problems among adults increased from 10.7% in 1996, to 11.2% in 2006, to 29.2% in 2015.
  • The prevalence in Kuala Lumpur is 39.8%!
  • The prevalence in females was slightly higher than in males but the difference was not significant (30.8% vs 27.6%).
  • Risk factors (adults): females, younger adults, other Bumiputras, and adults from low income families.
  • By occupation, the prevalence was lowest among government/semi-government employees (2.6%) (?!).
  • The overall prevalence of mental health problem among children was 12.1% (children = 5 to 15 years old).
  • Risk factors (children): boys, younger age group and from rural areas.
  • Prevalence of mental health problems in children:  peer problem (32.5%), conduct problems (16.7%), emotional problems (e.g. anxiety, depression, 15.7%), pro-social skill (11.2%) and hyperactivity (4.6%).
  • There are 360 registered psychiatrists registered in the public and private sectors. The ratio of psychiatrists to the Malaysian population is 1:200,000 (1:10,000 is recommended by WHO).
  • Mental illness is expected to be the second biggest health problem affecting Malaysians after heart diseases by 2020.

Retrieved from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015 (available here) or here.