With many expatriates here living far from family and loved ones, it’s no wonder that figures on UAE suggest that four to five percent of the population suffer from clinical depression. To help manage depression, Mandeep Jassal, Cognitive and Behavioral Therapist provides her expertise.
Some of the main symptoms* of depression include: a markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all activities most of the day, nearly every day, loss of weight or weight gain, disturbed sleep, fatigue or loss of energy, reduced libido, and/or a diminished ability to think or concentrate or indecisiveness. *(according to the ICD-10)
STEPS TO HELP MYSELF
Although mental health issues are commonly identified as a “psychological problem”, the brain is a physical organ in the human body. It is therefore, just as important to seek help and support by firstly acknowledging and accepting that you are struggling and need some help, just like if you had broken your leg. Although there may be stigma with mental health issues, it is important to know this can change if we speak about the issues more and recognize that there are a lot of people and healthcare professionals who want to and can help.
- Speak to your general practitioner (GP): They are your first port of call if you think you are struggling with depression.
- Medication: At first you may consider this to be daunting, especially because of the many side effects some medications have. However, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and this has been proven in many research publications.
- Consider seeking support through counseling/psychotherapy: A trained professional who is neutral may be the support you need to feel less pressure. In time, counseling can help you to develop a better understanding of yourself and techniques to manage situations better.
- Undertake some form of activity: Whether this is going for a short walk, listening to your favorite music, or contacting a friend.
- Doing something that brings pleasure: This may also help you to feel you are doing something that gives a small sense of achievement. With depression, this is very important to recognize.
(Written by: Mandeep Jassal, Cognitive and Behavioral Therapist, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Practitioner)