Anxiety and insomnia on the rise as people fret over Taiwan’s future: doctors 擔心台灣未來 焦慮失眠比率升

Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - Page 11

As of late the public has been fixated on the anti-service trade pact movement. A significant number of people have been seeing doctors for psychological issues caused by anxiety and insomnia triggered by concern for various social factors, including Taiwan’s future and the student movement.

Hung Chi-wei, an attending physician at Chi Mei Hospital’s family medicine department, says that he has recently treated a spate of clinical cases like this. Some of the patients, originally quite fond of exercising, suddenly became sluggish for reasons unknown and only wanted to lounge around the house, never going out anywhere else. Even if some of them have wanted to see a doctor, they did not know which department to make an appointment with.

Hung says that family physicians often come across this type of patient, who consults a family doctor first because they do not know which type of specialist to see, as they have so many symptoms at the same time. There has been a slight rise in the number of patients visiting psychiatry departments in recent years, Hung says, adding that some of them complain about Taiwan’s stagnant economy, rising prices or how hard it is to make a living. The right amount of stress can easily give rise to mental disorders such as generalized anxiety or depression, Hung says.

Most patients with generalized anxiety disorder tend to be unaware that they have the disorder because the symptoms tend to fluctuate. When stress levels increase in everyday life or at work it typically exacerbates the patient’s condition. Common symptoms include muscle tension, an overly excited autonomic nervous system, feeling keyed up and on edge, sometimes having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and feeling irritable. The symptoms for depression include feeling dejected and losing interest in things.

Regardless of whether it is generalized anxiety disorder or depression, Hung says that as soon as you discover possibly having one of the two disorders, you should see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

最近反服貿運動引起社會關心矚目,有不少民眾因為擔心台灣未來前途以及學運等社會現象,出現焦慮失眠引發身心疾病情況而求助醫生。

奇美醫院家庭醫學科主治醫師洪啟偉表示,最近在臨床上常有此類病人就醫看診,也有患者原本很愛運動,但卻不知是何原因卻突然提不起勁,只想躲在家中,其他地方都不想去,即使想要就醫也不曉得要掛哪一科。

洪啟偉說,家醫科門診常會遇到此類病人,因為身體多發性症狀不知道該看哪科門診,而先到家醫科做諮詢。近年罹患身心科而前來就診的患者比率略有偏高,有些患者會抱怨這幾年國內經濟成長不佳、物價上漲,日子過得很辛苦等等,在壓力之下很容易引起廣泛性焦慮、憂鬱症等身心科疾病。

廣泛性焦慮症由於病情起伏不定,大部分的病人不會有所察覺,在生活工作壓力增加時病情會惡化,常見症狀包括有肌肉緊繃、自律神經亢奮、過度警戒且過度敏感等,有時也會有難以入睡或睡不安穩、易怒等情形;此外,憂鬱症則是以憂鬱情緒或失去興趣為主要症狀。

洪啟偉指出,不論是廣泛性焦慮症或是憂鬱症,一旦發現有廣泛性焦慮症或是憂鬱症的可能時,建議尋求醫師的診斷與治療。

(自由時報記者林孟婷)