Moving to a new country, especially one with a culture very different from your own is an adjustment. It can be an amazing experience, with exciting new foods, music, and traditions to explore, however it can also be overwhelming, even leading to depression. An expat in Saudi Arabia is facing such challenges and has posted on enotalone.com for advice.
Navigating the unfamiliar can be stressful and it’s crucial to remember that when you’re feeling overwhelmed that it’s ok to reach out and seek support. Whether it’s speaking to friends and family back home, finding a therapist or counselor in your new city, or joining a support group of expat friends who understand the culture shock - leaning in when we need help is an important part taking care of ourselves.
However, for some of us, the long distance of being far from home combined with our own inner battles results in something much darker: depression. This state of mind comes with its own set of obstacles; don’t be afraid to ask for help. Take any publications, websites, or phone numbers dealing with depression seriously, and start looking into different resources.
The feelings of loneliness, discontentment, and fear are not uncommon, but they also don’t have to last forever. By reaching out to get professional help, a person can begin to feel better.
In Saudi Arabia, this might include connecting with a local mental health provider, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers. If cost is an issue, there are programs available to subsidize the bill. For more information, you can contact the Ministry of Health, which provides an extensive list of mental health professionals in Saudi Arabia.
It’s easy to fool yourself into believing things will never change; and feeling like no one understands what you’re going through only makes that worse. But that's simply not true. There are millions of people who feel exactly the same way you do, and thousands of mental health practitioners who are trained to help you.
Adjusting to a new culture often comes with growing pains - don’t forget you’re not alone in this sea of emotions. One way to ensure that you don’t sink into depression is to reach out and make connections with people who understand what you are going through. Even if this just means one friend with an empathetic ear, you’ll discover that on the other side of loneliness lies understanding and connection.
Remember, depression is a treatable illness and by seeking help, talking to individuals who understand, and allowing yourself to move freely through the highs and lows of the expat journey, you'll be able to start looking forward to the someday when the happiness and satisfaction you seek won’t feel so unattainable.
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