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Anxiety disorders in the UAE

Everyday life can be stressful in the UAE, and it is normal for everyone to experience anxiety under certain circumstances. We might get these feelings from the mundane routine we go through to start the day, such as getting to work on time. Other stressful triggers in life may be a test situation, a job interview, moving houses, starting a new relationship, meeting task deadlines, and so forth. With all these stresses happening at different times in our lives, or all at once, the risk of intense anxiety over a prolonged period of time may give rise to a type of psychiatric condition – anxiety disorder.

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So what is an anxiety disorder? What are the symptoms and how can we treat them? Should we be more wary of its impact on our mental and physical health in the UAE? In this article by Pacific Prime Dubai, we will provide you with the answers, so that you can identify and reduce anxiety more effectively in your daily life and help others along the way that experience the same.

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What is an anxiety disorder?

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can definitely be beneficial in some situations.

Anxiety disorders are considered psychiatric conditions that can have a debilitating impact on an individual’s mental wellbeing. Anxiety disorder can affect one’s ability to function on a daily basis, as well as their physical health in the long run.

Anxiety disorders can cause people into trying to avoid situations that trigger or worsen their symptoms. Job performance, personal relationships, confidence, and motivation are some areas that can be affected. Around 4.27% of the population in the UAE suffers from anxiety disorders, which is the top mental health issue in the country.

Types of anxiety disorders

Here are several types of anxiety disorders that people in the UAE experience, some of them are mentioned below with their own unique symptoms:

Panic disorder

This is a type of anxiety disorder that arises from when the individual starts to think fast and loses control of one’s thoughts. Consequently, the mind becomes rendered and incapable of clear thinking. Worry sets in and the body’s physiology responds in ways that cause the individual to panic.

Some symptoms, to name a few include:

  • Fear of loss of control or danger
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • A feeling of reality or detachment

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

This anxiety disorder is triggered by a terrifying event – either by experiencing or witnessing it. Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping. Symptoms may start within a month of the traumatic experience but sometimes may not appear until years later after the event. These symptoms include:

  • Upsetting dreams of the incident or recurrent memories of the traumatic event, that are collectively known as intrusive memories.
  • Avoiding places, activities that remind the sufferer of the event, or trying to avoid thinking or talking about the event.

Social anxiety

This disorder may arise due to a fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. It can seriously affect one’s daily routine, work, or other activities. Even children in the UAE experience this condition. It may be in the playground at school, when peers are not accepting, or in classes where lessons are difficult. A few symptoms that both adults and children may experience include:

  • Fear of situations in which you may be judged
  • Having anxiety in anticipation of a feared activity or event
  • Avoiding situations where you might be at the center of attention
  • Fear that others will notice that you look anxious

What causes anxiety in general?

Before we can understand how to treat anxiety disorders, it is important to discover the root causes of anxiety that eventually build up to become these complex mental disorders. Anxiety disorders consist of a complicated network of causes, including:

People who have family members with an anxiety disorder are likely to have one themselves due to hereditary factors.

Life consists of choices and risks and sometimes the odds can weigh against you, leading to some unfortunate events occurring, thus having a life-changing impact. A terrifying car accident or attack may not leave only physical scars, but mental ones as well.

  • Environmental factors

Environmental factors are probably the biggest contributor to most anxiety disorders in the UAE. Stress from studying and meeting academic requirements or work pressure due to the fast-paced nature of work in the Emirate can be to blame. Stress may continue at home where family commitments can put a strain and making ends meet can force people to make hard decisions.

What can you do to reduce anxiety?

If you have a feeling that you may be suffering from anxiety, it is important to seek professional help and support. There are well-established anxiety treatments from qualified psychiatrists and psychologists available in the UAE. Professionals may use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that aims to challenge and address unhealthy thought patterns that sufferers experience. Medication, usually antidepressants are normally prescribed to complement the CBT.

However, aside from proven treatments such as CBT, there are a number of practical steps that you can take yourself. These will help limit your anxiety symptoms:

Truth be told, instead of reducing stress, smoking works by inhibiting the receptors for feeling stress and gives you only a feeling of temporary relief. Once the nicotine sensation wears off, the stressors continue to put more stress, thus smoking is not a recommended method to completely control stress. Additionally, tobacco in nicotine products can cause deadly cancers.

Too much caffeine can lead to increased anxiety or even complicate an existing anxiety disorder by increasing symptoms.

It is recommended that we exercise at least 30 minutes a day. This can be a brisk walk or going to the gym.

Sleep requirements vary from person to person, however, adults, in general, need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.

No matter what your goals are in life, it is important to follow your passion and succeed in doing what you love. However, in everyday life, we also encounter situations that we dislike or are difficult, which stress us out. Therefore make time to enjoy the pleasures you love. This could be shopping, reading a book, watching a movie, making dinner for friends, and so forth.

Workplace wellness programs in the UAE

As most adults accrue stress from workplace environments, employers can choose to explore and implement effective employee wellness programs. These programs can help employees by connecting them with outside facilitators and organizations to manage mental health issues, including anxiety disorders.

Working in the UAE can be particularly stressful, as indicated by the article published by The National, which states thatUAE finance workers are 6.41% more stressed than those in the UK, and 23.88% more stressed than finance workers in the Netherlands.

Are you considering private health insurance to cover mental health issues like anxiety disorders?

Pacific Prime Dubai Pacific Prime Dubai endeavors to provide readers, and its clients with the best material and most relevant information when it comes to people’s wellbeing including expats, families, and employees in organizations. Each of Pacific Prime advisors treats our clients individually and the solutions are delivered with care and in an easy to understand way.

Solutions we provide to organizations in Dubai and across the UAE are ranging from employee benefits to group health insurance. Pacific Prime Dubai also recognizes the importance of protecting individuals and their family members by offering DHA compliant private health insurance plans.

Compare corporate health insurance or private health insurance plans with us today by contacting us for a free quote.

Content Creator at Pacific Prime Dubai
Jimmy is a content writer who helps simplify insurance for readers interested in international private medical insurance. He is on a mission in Thailand to support locals, expatriates, and businesses by bring the latest news and updates to his Pacific Prime blog articles.

His expert view and wealth of knowledge on insurance can also be found in his blogs for China, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore.