Really, if you have to come up with some positive points about Covid-19, what can you think of?
It’s an exercise I have done with two of my support group members, initially most of them were like.. “Huh? Positive thing about Covid?”, “I can’t think of any”, and after squeezing their brain juices, “Ok, maybe xxx…” reluctantly. But I collected a rather long list in the end, there were more and more coming out:
- spending more quality time with family
- spending more time with the self (some people never get the chance to do so)
- developing some new habits and routine (e.g. work out, cooking their own meals)
- developing some new interests (e.g. baking, cooking, growing plant, DIY this and that)
- learning new skills online (e.g. yoga, taekwando, cooking, coding)
- rediscovering some old passions
- working from home, saving time on traffic and money on petrol/toll
- more things go online, becoming more accessible (not just clothes, now you can get fresh seafood and physiotherapy online too)
- people are more accepting anything online (e.g. psychotherapy, university courses, ballet classes)
- better problem solving skills facing difficulties, how a lot of people transformed their business and work and career creatively
- becoming more resilient, more able to cope with stress and challenges
- spending less on unnecessary items (working from home, no longer need to buy office outfits)
- started finance planning (due to pay cut, less income generated during this period)
- better for the earth, animals, plants when humans are all staying home
- contemplating what humans have done to the mother earth and natural environment
- contemplating what a tiny virus can lead to and how we should change
- developing much better hygiene related habits, like washing hands after coming home, wearing masks
- having more personal space in the public areas! (many people with and without anxiety related issues love this)
- watching live concert online (being very close without paying for the expensive tickets and worrying about parking, traffic etc)
- not going home for Chinese New Year celebration, meaning they don’t have to face the relatives and answer their questions (“Why are you still single? Why aren’t you getting married? Why aren’t you having children? Why aren’t you having another baby?” etc) (Happy Chinese New Year, by the way!)
Can you come up with more?
That’s a quote from one of the participants in the Anxiety Support Group, during our 4th meeting few months back.
In a Crisis?
It’s temporary… As long as you do something about it, or stop struggling with it. Sooner or later, it’s going. Bear with it!!
It’s temporary too! Everything comes and goes. Meanwhile, enjoy it while you can.
Only one thing lasts much much longer than temporary
Disclaimer: I’m writing this post with a lot of compassion (i.e. acknowledging the suffering of certain group of people and hoping to help them to reduce their suffering). In no way I intend to belittle or criticize any person or religion. If you’d like this post to be removed, please be in touch email@example.com
I previously came across a 20 year young man who wrote to me asking about therapy for addiction to pornography. When we first met for an assessment, this is his “addiction” – he watched porn and masturbates for about 1 to 1.5 hours a day, almost every day, other than that he has been functioning pretty normally with his work and sports activities. He doesn’t experience any urges or problems in the day. When I was attempting to validate his experience, saying that many people of his age have much stronger urges and if it isn’t affecting his life, perhaps he shouldn’t see it as an addiction. Then he revealed his guilt as in his religion, masturbation is not allowed, at all. (I’m sorry to have been so insensitive, not knowing that masturbation is prohibited in Islam). He also understands that some of his friends did this when they were younger, not so sure about now.
He never talks to anyone about it, even to his religious mentor or his father. But he has been suffering in pain for few years, trying various ways including throwing all his gadgets away so that he has no access to porn. But normally it came back much stronger when he managed to suppress it for few days. So he fell into this vicious cycle of urge → reacting to the urge → guilt → suppress → stronger urge → reacting → more guilt → trying harder to suppress → even stronger urge……….. I believe it must have been so much pain that he finally made up his mind to seek help from a Chinese therapist. In the beginning, there was some “conflicts” regarding the client’s goal, as he’s looking for “complete termination”, whereas I see it as something natural and normal so a reduction will be more appropriate (yes I subsequently realised my mistake. Therapy is about the client, not about the therapist).
In the end we have come into a conclusion of the goals and some tasks. I’m now working with him on self-compassion, and we are using techniques from aversive therapy for the “addiction”. For the past few months it has been going well.
If you’re also a Muslim who’s suffering from similar issues (porn watching & masturbation, compulsive or not), and if you’re willing, please get in touch, I can connect you guys virtually (online, without meeting each other) to support each other to go through this together.
Hi all, it’s unfortunate that due to current situation (Covid-19), the support groups are not running, however, please do fill in the google form to register your interest: https://goo.gl/forms/PaFNW2LBfOkOOeUv1
You will be contacted once they are running again. Thank you.
Yes, since my post written in 2017, I’ve finally managed to organise the first meet-up for Support Group for Anxiety and related problems. It went really well and we were all very pleased to meet each other and made this happened together, despite our levels of anxiety! We will continue to meet monthly and welcome new members.
Meet-ups for Depression and other problems will follow soon…
If you’re interested, please fill in the google form here:
A few criteria to fulfill:
- You’ve been assessed or diagnosed with the problem you specified by a mental health professional (be it a psychiatrist or psychologist or GP or…).
- You’re attending and participating in this willingly, not being forced by others.
- You are able to arrange your own transport and pay for your expenses.
- You are able to pay a small fees for administrative/materials purpose.
- You demonstrate the ability to treat others non-judgmentally and with respect, and maintain confidentiality.
- In between our monthly meet-ups, we stay connected in Whatsapp group, however, you will only be able to join the group after first showing up in the meet-up.
To read more about it, please check out my previous post:
Support Groups in KL/Klang
Due to my attempts of organising support groups in Klang Valley (more details here), I have encountered people who are searching for support groups for all sort of things.
I just happened to come across this from Befrienders. Please go get in touch with Kenny at 03-7957 1306 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you or someone you know might be interested to attend.
在国外，不管是什么疾病，互助小组（support group)都是蛮常见的，比如抗癌勇士、强迫症患者等。过去也曾有好一些病人问过我，在马来西亚有这种小组吗… 所以在这里我提出一些意见，有兴趣或有其它看法的人，欢迎联络我…
- 吉隆坡欧阳专科医疗所（Jalan Pudu）
- 巴生Manipal Hospital Klang （Bukit Tinggi）
目前这只是初始阶段，如果你有什么意见和想法、或者有兴趣参与的话，请留下联络方式，也可以电邮 email@example.com 或致电/whatsapp 017-2757813