The Dubai Expatriate Community is Not All About ‘Success Stories’:
When you think of Dubai, you most probably have a picture of glamorous skyscrapers and the Palm Island fanning out into the blue ocean. The wealth and success of this exceptionally affluent community is something that is not well hidden, and does not intend to be. But do not for one second think that this pleasure paradise does not come with a darker side. The success of this desert mecca has indeed taken its toll on those that have helped built it to what it is today. And like the multiple success stories that have oozed out of Dubai, there is an equal and opposite reality to the city that does not get as bright a limelight as it probably should. Expatriates coming to Dubai to make their fortunes and build their futures are often plunged into a myriad of social and mental problems that they could never have predicted or even imagined. Depression is prevalent throughout the UAE, and often stems from sources different to those that expatriates are accustomed to in their home nations.
The Little-Known Struggles That Expatriates Face
Moving is said to be one of the most stressful things that you can do. And very few people actually realize the toll that moving to another country places on a person, especially a country where you are do not speak the language, nor have any friends. A major issue that expatriates are having to deal with the in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is the lack of family support, or a reliable support system. This rings especially true for new mother who have given birth in a foreign country. The feelings of isolation, loneliness, and change are all part and parcel of the life of ex-pats in a new country. Very often, this is magnified in cities throughout the Arab world, as partners and spouses head off to work and start making social connections early, while their partner or spouse is left to manage off their own devices. Being somewhere new where you don’t know anyone or how to get around can put a massive spanner in the works of any routine you previously had. It’s not surprising that expatriates do not feel like their normal selves for a while after they have moved, and can take some time to settle in.
The Depression Addiction Connection in Expatriates
Having an understanding of some of the problems that expatriates face when moving to a foreign country, it should be ease to see how depression can set in rather rapidly upon arrival. Having no routine in a foreign country, where fellow people on the street don’t even speak your language, is a recipe for loneliness and isolation. The root instruments of depression. These feelings of loneliness and almost rootlessness, can lead people to desperately seek relief, and the quickest way to escape those feelings of dread and despair is through drugs and alcohol. The quick-fix offered by these self-destructive alternatives is a fast slope to addiction, even though the problem is not being dealt with.
Additionally, the added stress that is placed on expatriates by not having a reliable, if any, support structure at all provides only more stress to the already dire situation. The amount of stress that expatriates experience when moving to a foreign country, coupled with the despair of mounting depression upon arriving, is a sure-fire way to spark an addiction.
There are helping hands out there that is able to help you deal with the stresses and strains of moving to a new and foreign country. Get involved with your community and community projects, take to people who have been through the experience of relocating and having to deal with their new lives. It helps to talk and to be honest with yourself and your partner before things get out of hand, and out of control. I wish all expatriates all the best in your new and exciting endeavor, and wish for you a good bill of mental health, and well-being.