Although the actual numbers are unknown, there are reports of increasing numbers of anxiety cases within the UAE. This is especially true in Dubai which The National writes as being in the middle of a stress epidemic. This is mainly caused by work pressures, a competitive corporate marketplace, the city’s 24-hour society, and the growing number of expat workers with no social support network.
Mental health professionals have urged for greater action in their field for a number of reasons. First, as Gulf News reports, anxiety is in the top three mental illnesses for patients within the UAE. In addition to this, Arab Health Online states that anxiety is in fact one of the top three illnesses among those residing in Dubai.
Developing Anxiety Treatment in Dubai
There have been several steps taken to improve the mental healthcare field in Dubai and the rest of the UAE. For example, the Ministries of Health and Education initiated the Relief Campaign which focused on pain management and its primary cause, stress. The Khaleej Times also writes that The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has been hosting regular Twitter sessions with psychiatrists offering advice about how to tackle anxiety, panic attacks and more.
New treatments are also being developed, including cognitive behavioural therapy, to help facilities cope with the increasing number of anxiety victims. In the future, it is hoped that medication and drug-free treatments will be available at international standards for both citizens and expats living in Dubai. This is being helped by conferences such as MENAMAT, an annual congress on mood and anxiety treatment, which is hosted in Dubai. According to Prof. Hany Shafey, a co-chair of the congress, its aim is to increase understanding of psychiatric disorder management and disseminate evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for disorders such as anxiety.
Dubai’s Hurdles for Proper Anxiety Therapy
Despite local Dubai authorities taking measures to improve the city’s mental health field, there are several obstacles to overcome. One main issue is the social stigma attached to conditions such as anxiety. A previous sufferer of anxiety and national spokeswomen for mental health awareness, Aida (surname withheld), admitted that stigma prevents many patients from speaking up about their mental condition. This fear stops people admitting they have a problem and seeking the help that they desperately require.
Other factors also come into this reluctance to contact a psychiatrist. Many Dubai residents see conditions such as anxiety as madness or weakness and are of the opinion that the individual simply lacks self-control. Others say that psychiatric treatments are unnecessary because Dubai is a Muslim society. In fact, The National reports that many will go to a faith healer instead of a psychological specialist as a result of this belief.
Alternatives for Dubai Locals Seeking Help
While there are some treatment options for anxiety in Dubai, these are limited and are still not up to international standards. Khaleej Times reports that there are only 180 specialist psychiatrists currently working in the UAE. For this reason, some choose to seek assistance overseas. While abroad, the negative stigma associated with mental illness disappears as well.
Camino Recovery is a mental health retreat situated near Malaga in the south of Spain on the beautiful Andalusian Coast. We operate to western standards with a trained team of medical and support staff. On arrival, we will tailor a treatment programme to your needs, helping you rid yourself of anxiety over the long-term through a number of tried-and-true treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy and equine assisted psychotherapy.
Better Anxiety Treatments for Emiratis
Our private retreat gives you a chance to relax both your body and mind. Not only will you go through an individualised treatment schedule to help balance your mind, but we will also seek out the root cause of your anxiety issues, eliminate your negative thoughts and restore your attitude, ideas and behaviour to a healthy middle ground.
We will also give you a chance to enjoy the sunny Spanish coastline, relaxing your body and taking you far away from the pressures of Dubai. By removing you from the corporate stress and social stigmas of the UAE, you will have a better chance to focus on the issue at hand and restore mental balance both during your stay and later on your return. Camino Recovery is a short 10 or 11-hour flight from Dubai. We will pick you up at Malaga Airport too, whisking you away to our seaside retreat where you can commence your path to mental health and rejuvenation.