Dealing with Depression in Kuwait – You are not Alone

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in Kuwait.

What is depression? How can one be diagnosed as depressed? What is the difference between depression and sadness? Is there a non-medical cure to a non-chemical ailment?

The Arab World in general does not believe in diseases of the mind. If there are no physical signs (self inflicted wounds do not apply) then there is no actual problem, and many a time depression is merely treated as a temporary cry for attention.

Globally, over 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression, it affects women more than men.

The fact of the matter is depression is just as common as the common cold, and affects more people on a global scale. It does not differentiate between young or old, man or woman, boy or girl, resident or expat.

The causes of depression are limitless. They are as diverse as the people that walk this earth and equally as complex to define.

Depression is defined as severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. It is the hollow feeling inside that something is missing. The pang of guilt or the twitch of fear that exist within the confines of the soul and cause vast emotional distress.

Depression does not necessarily manifest itself in violent tendencies or abnormal behavior. It could be something as simple as over sleeping, or lack of sleep. It could be over eating, or not eating at all. Different people react differently to depression and as such it cannot be a clear cut definition.

Mental health is a taboo subject in most households. Some may discuss it candidly, whilst others shy away from it with terror in their eyes, as though the acceptance of such a reality is equivalent to being diagnosed with leprosy in that the person would be forever shunned from society, an outcast for daring to blurt out such blasphemy.

The fact of the matter is, ignoring the problem will not make it go away. In fact, in this scenario, ignoring the problem further exacerbates the issue, causing the patient further emotional distress and driving them further down the deep ocean of depression.

In all facets of medicine in particular and life in general, it is better to treat the cause as opposed to the symptoms. Upstream prevention rather than downstream correction. However, when it comes to depression, a bit of both is crucially necessary. One will avoid further bouts whilst the other attempts to steer the patient towards calmer waters.

The rise of social media coupled with peoples immediate acceptance of the concept has left physical connections in tatters. No one bothers to speak anymore, relying solely on their fingers and text to get their points across. People can be sitting in close proximity to each other and yet still be miles apart, each one busy in their own online endeavor, further alienating those in dire need of comfort.

The time has come to finally see this ailment for what it truly is, and attempt to make amends, not with mockery but with compassion.

Ignoring someone’s cry for help is as detrimental as being the cause of their discomfort.

You are not alone

You are not alone

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