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What drives UAE expats to suicide?

People have unrealistic expectations from life, say experts

XPRESS

Social workers, psychologists and life coaches have cautioned residents against pushing their lives to the brink when they face difficult situations.

Commenting on suicidal trends in general, Umarani Padmanabhan, Indian social worker, said: “People have unrealistic expectations from life. Some actions are not supported by logic or reason.”

She said society is losing touch with traditional values in every sphere — be it economic, social or within families.

“We tend to despair more easily when we are away from home,” she said, adding: “We need to become stronger.”

Mary John, Clinical Psychologist with Dubai Community Health Centre, said: “In general, a person who commits suicide feels an absolute desperation or hopelessness. Suicide is a symptom of a major mental illness such as depression.”

Stress factors such as financial difficulties or trouble with interpersonal relationships also take their toll.

“When something goes wrong, different personalities react differently. But it’s important to recognise the warning signs and seek professional help.”

Sunaina Vohra, Founder of Athena Biz and Life Coaching, said: “As expats, we are away from home and live in nuclear families where we may not always have the right people to talk to. We’re also very hush-hush when it comes to the problems we face.

Professional help

“Someone with suicidal thoughts desperately needs professional help, but they can get it only if they come forward and talk about it.”

She said the openness comes when mental health is understood better and the taboos surrounding mental illnesses are removed.

“A high percentage of us goes through depression at some point. But we can’t keep brushing things under the carpet. There will come a time when the carpet has to be lifted and the question is, will we be equipped to cope with it?”

She also stressed the need for dedicated helplines for those with suicidal tendencies.

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