Depression is on the rise. Know the signs.
In recent times, the UAE has seen an alarming increase in a number of mental health issues among its residents – natives and expats alike. Among those, the most prevalent, debilitating and worrying is clinical depression. According to a report released by WHO in 2018, there are more than 300 million people suffering from depression worldwide. Within the UAE, the incidence of depression is at 4-5%, with around 15% suffering from a milder version of the disorder.
Although biology plays an important part, financial stress, challenging work environments and lack of support system contribute to the rise in depression among the UAE population. And this is especially evident in the expat community as they have to deal with the loneliness that comes from living and working in a foreign country in addition to all the other factors.
Early detection is crucial for easier and quicker recovery, and for that reason, it is also essential to differentiate between depression and day-to-day sadness. If you feel that you might suffer from depression, here are some symptoms to watch out for:
- Depressed mood for most part of the day, nearly every day.
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
- Significant weight loss when not dieting, or weight gain, or a decrease/increase in appetite nearly every day.
- A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
- Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive/inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
- Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt, or a specific plan for committing suicide.
If you find that five or more of the above symptoms persist for more than two weeks, it is important that you consult a mental health professional.
Apart from these, depression also reveals itself in other emotional, behavioural and physical signs such as:
- Irritability or restlessness
- Sleep disturbances like insomnia, early-morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping
- Difficulty remembering details
- Persistent feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
- Feelings of anxiety/emptiness
- Brooding, obsessive rumination
- Persistent aches, pains,cramps, headaches or digestive issues
- Excessive worry over physical health
- Loss of libido
- Substance abuse
It is of utmost importance that you contact a mental health professional if you notice yourself exhibiting any of these symptoms. At OmniCare, we have an experienced team of mental health consultants who can be of help.
To book an appointment, click here or contact us on 043388990