Depression Treatment in Singapore | Psychiatry, Therapy And Self-Care

Depression Treatment

What is Depression?

Most people will feel sad, lonely, or depressed at times. It’s a normal reaction to life’s struggles, injured self-esteem or loss etc. However, sometimes the feelings of hopelessness and despair can become overwhelming.

Such feelings may seriously disrupt a person’s ability to function normally, and last for long periods of time (e.g. weeks to months).

In such cases, these symptoms may point towards clinical depression.

10 Depression Symptoms


Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness

A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.


Loss of interest in daily activities

You don’t care anymore about former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.


Appetite or weight changes

Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.


Sleep changes

Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping.


Anger or irritability

Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.


Loss of energy

Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.



Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.


Reckless behaviour

You engage in escapist behaviour such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.


Concentration problems

Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.


Unexplained aches and pains

An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

An estimated 5.8% of the Singaporean population are affected by depression. Major depressive disorder (“depression”) is a disabling condition that adversely affects a person’s family, work or school life, sleeping and eating habits, and general health. A high percentage of people with depression symptoms die by suicide.

The symptoms of depression differ between person to person and vary with age, gender and background. However, there are some common themes.

Listed below are some of the more frequently experienced symptoms of depression. If you find many of the items on this list apply to you, this may indicate that you are suffering from depression.

Treating Depression

Deciding on how to treat depression depends on its cause – Understanding the underlying cause of your depression may help you overcome the problem.

Depression which is caused by personal circumstances can be best treated by changing those circumstances.

For example, if your depression is caused by a toxic work environment, seeking a new workplace or career may be the best treatment. Depression caused by loneliness can be cured by going out to social events and meeting new people.

However, experiencing depression may make you feel helpless to take such actions. Thus, a few simple steps can be taken to help alleviate some of the symptoms:

How to Deal with Depression

Take regular exercise

Even simple activities such as taking a short walk can help. By starting with small actions and building up, you can improve your depression symptoms.

Reach out to other people

Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to friends and loved ones, even if you feel like being alone or don’t want to be a burden to others. The simple act of talking to someone face-to-face about how you feel can be an enormous help. The person you talk to doesn’t have to be able to fix you. He or she just needs to be a good listener—someone who’ll listen attentively without being distracted or judging you.

Eat a healthy diet

Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, sugar and refined carbs. And increase mood-enhancing nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids.

Find ways to engage again with the world

Spend some time in nature, care for a pet, volunteer, pick up a hobby you used to enjoy (or take up a new one). You won’t feel like it at first, but as you participate in the world again, you will start to feel better. (Source:


However, in most cases it is difficult to cure clinical depression by yourself. It is recommended that you seek help from professional clinicians.

In this regard, Promises would be more than happy to help you in your recovery.

Psychiatry and Therapy

In cases of clinical depression, seeing a psychiatrist to obtain anti-depressant medication can be a good first step. However, keep in mind that such treatment should not be seen as a long-term solution – addressing the underlying causes of depression is a better goal.

Psychotherapy can assist with this. We at Promises believe in taking a multi-disciplinary approach towards depression treatment, where our psychiatrists and counsellors work towards good recovery.

New Depression Treatments

Some individuals may not respond well to anti-depressants as everyone has a different genetic make-up. For this, Promises has an alternative non-drug treatment in the form of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS treatment), or repetitive magnetic brain stimulation (also called TMS). Promises is the pioneer in providing rTMS treatment in Singapore.

It is a non-drug alternative to anti-depressants and an Electroconvulsive Therapy without any of the side effects. The treatment requires 20-30 sessions lasting 40 minutes each. During each session 3000 magnetic pulses are delivered to the specific area of the brain that regulates moods.

Our Team includes:

Dr Terence Leong
Senior Consultant Psychiatrist
MMED (Psych), MBBS

Elizabeth Pang
Principal Clinical Psychologist
MSc (Clinical Psych), BA (Hons) Clinical Psych

Dr Adaline Ng
Senior Clinical Psychologist
DPsych (Clinical), BSocSc (Psych), B.A., MAPS

Dr Janice Tan
Senior Clinical Psychologist
DPsych (Clinical), BA (Hons) Psych, MSPS, MSRP

Samuel Lee
M.A. in Applied Psychology

Amita Schmith
MA (Couns), LLB, BA (Psych, SocSci)

You can make an appointment to see any of them at: +65 6397 7309, or by emailing [email protected]

Get in touch with us

For more information or any enquiries, feel free to contact us now!