Ms Sarah asks: I moved to the UAE from Jordan a month back.
I was very excited to move to the UAE; however, several weeks after moving here, I feel very sad. I do not feel like going out and exploring the city or being with friends, and usually spend my time watching TV. Sometimes I find it hard to focus on my work. I feel very confused because I wanted so badly to move to the UAE, I have friends and a good job but now that I am here, I feel sad. I don’t get it.
Dr Saliha Afridi replies: Sarah, the feelings you have described are very natural and normal part of a life-changing adjustment. Some may refer to it as ‘homesickness’ and the more clinical term for it would be 'Adjustment Disorder with Depressive Symptoms'. I do not want to pathologize something that is a very natural and normal part of being in a transition period. The feelings of sadness and confusion, tearfulness, loss of concentration, loss of pleasure in activities, withdrawal, and low energy are expected as you try to adjust to a new country, a new home, and a new job. It is very important that you continue to take care of yourself physically during this time. Even if you don’t feel like it, make sure you have good habits regarding your diet, exercise, and sleep. If the feelings persist and start to interfere significantly with your social and occupational functioning, please talk to a mental health professional.
If you have questions that you would like answered by a mental health professional in the UAE, please write in to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: This blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of psychiatrists are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.