'Parents should bear full responsibility'

PHOTO: 'Parents should bear full responsibility'

SINGAPORE - She had to watch her son cope with his anxiety disorder.

His condition made him averse to noise and crowds and prevented him from properly performing his duties in the army, said his mother, Mary (not her real name).

"We referred him to a private psychiatrist who gave him some medication and did his best to inform the army of my son's condition," she said.

Her son was then referred to a military psychiatrist.

"But even so, the timing between his visits were months apart. It should be weeks (apart) for more regular monitoring," she said.

The mother also suggested that soldiers like her son should be assessed by private and more experienced psychiatrists.

"That way, they will not think that these soldiers are malingering and will be more professional," she said.

"These soldiers should also be given time to adjust to the medication and recover before they report back for duties. Don't expect them to be okay straightaway. Recovery needs time," she said.

She added that superiors should show more concern towards such soldiers.

"They could pay them a home visit and see whether they are adjusting well with the medication.

"My son's superior was very kind and fatherly. He was very understanding about my son's condition."

But ultimately, Mary believes that parents should bear full responsibility.

"As parents, we also need to talk to our children to find out what's happening. It's our responsibility to take care of our children, not anyone else's," she said.

This article was published on April 21 in The New Paper.

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