The Philippine Embassy in Vientiane, Laosconducted a Seminar on Severe Anxiety on 25 September 2019 at the Embassy premises, which was attended by 39 members of the Filipino Community and one (1) Indonesian national, of whom 25 were female.
Dr. Manivone Thikeo, clinical psychologist at the Psy-Med Center in Vientiane and former consultant at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Laos conducted the seminar and informed the participants about the normalcy of experiencing anxiety, the possible length/period of this psychological condition, the triggers for this condition, as well as the different kinds of anxiety, which included those caused by certain phobias, substance abuse, adjustment to a new environment, or current health concerns.
Dr. Manivone gave a video presentation by Dr. Carlo Carandang, a psychiatrist, anxiety expert, and founder of Anxietyboss.com, who identified symptoms of general anxiety disorder, such as excessive worry about everyday events and situations, as well as physical symptoms including restlessness, irritability, and sleep problems, among others. He stated that psychotherapy is the first-line treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, and that medication should be the last line of resort. Dr. Manivone agreed with Dr. Carandang’s opinion that medication will only ease symptoms for a short while and present risks of developing other symptoms. In addition, Dr. Manivone said that psychotherapy will help the psychiatrist identify the cause of stress and help the patient address these issues directly.
After the seminar, the Embassy took the opportunity to issue consular reminders for the workshop participants, namely on the procedures and requirements for renewal of their passports, and advised them against using their Philippine passports as collaterals for loans. The Embassy also reminded the Filipinos of its Assistance-to-Nationals services, such as hospital visits, counselling and mediation, among others. END