Mental health is a growing concern all over the world. Now more than ever, are people developing mental health problems that are affecting their behaviour, relationships, lifestyle and even physical health. According to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), 17.7% of the Arab world suffer from depression or anxiety.

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As it is a real concern in the UAE, multiple clinics, programs, and rehabilitation centres have been developed. The National Mental Illness awareness day in the UAE is officially marked on October the 10th.

To manage and prevent the development of mental illness, we need to understand what it is and how to handle it when we can identify their symptoms properly. 

Types of Mental Health Disorders

Mental Health Problems

There are many different types of mental illnesses, and all have their causes and symptoms. Some are within our control, and some are not. But understanding what each of them is can help us manage them better or prevent their development. Below is a list of the most common ones. 

1. Clinical Depression

Most commonly found in adults and teenagers, depression is when you are deflated in mood and have a loss of interest in daily activities, relationships and life in general. People who are depressed usually feel lonely, isolated and sad. 

2. Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder when you feel overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, fear, and worry. These feelings can happen suddenly, and the person may feel like they have no control over it. This can significantly affect one’s mood and daily activities. 

3. Bipolar Disorder

This is a disorder when people have sudden and random mood swings. This can range from depressive and quit to compulsive and aggressive behaviour. 

4. Dementia

This is a mental disorder when people have short term memory loss and are not able to remember parts of their past. This begins to develop in older people from 60 years of age. 

5. Attention-deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder

Also known as ADHD, this is a mental disorder that most commonly diagnosed in children and can carry on into adulthood. Symptoms include attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Though it cannot be cured, it can be managed. 

6. Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is when you experience thoughts or feelings that are out of touch with reality. This leads to disorganized speech, concentration difficulties, as well as engaging with others. Though there is no scientific cause for schizophrenia, brain development may be a factor. This disorder can be treated through medication and therapy.

7. Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

This is a disorder where people have random obsessions over small things. It can lead to repetitive behaviour or sudden obsessions. It may affect daily activities as well as isolation with other people. 

8. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

This is a disorder when people struggle to recover after witnessing or experiencing a difficult, traumatic or terrifying event from the past. This can lead to other mental disorders such as night terrors, anxiety and depression. 

Managing and Preventing Mental Disorders

Mental Health Problems

It is very important to make clear, that for a mental condition to be deemed as an official disorder is to have it diagnosed by a professional doctor. If you notice symptoms of any of the above, make sure you speak with your doctor first.

They will be able to identify what the exact problems are and how to treat them. You’ll notice from the above list of disorders, that most of them rely on medication and professional therapy.

Other than that, there are a few self-treatments and lifestyle adjustments you can adopt that will help you manage and prevent the symptoms of mental health disorders. Here are a few of them:

  • Improve Nutrition – Better nutrition will lead to better physical health. And when your physical health is good, you will have an improved mood. Making sure you have a healthy diet will ensure that you’ll have a better mindset too. 
  • Improve Physical Activity – Just like the above point, being physically active may help you to feel better about yourself. Physical exercises also help your body to release a hormone called endorphins into your brain. This is a brain chemical that improves your mood. 
  • Recognize Triggers – Identify what your triggers are and try to find ways to avoid it or to get used to them without triggering a reaction. By identifying what stimulus may cause you problems, you’ll be able to handle them better or avoid them altogether.
  • Speak Out When Needed – Feeling isolated or alone while having a mental disorder can be tough and may even make your life a whole lot harder. Always be vocal about your concerns and issues, especially if you need help from others. Going to family or friends whom you can trust are often your best options. 
  • Figure Out What Coping Strategies Work Best For You – There are many ways to tackle mental health disorders. It depends on what type of mental disorder you suffer from. Your doctor or psychiatrist may recommend a certain approach to cope with it, but remember always to be patient. If it doesn’t work, you can try other options. There will always be a way for you to cope with your health disorders.  

Keep in Mind

Mental Health Problems

The above advice may or may not work for all people. Depending on the type of disorder you have, there will always be a different approach. Again, it cannot be stressed enough that meeting with your doctor or professional psychiatrist should be the first step if you notice signs of mental health problems.

Mental health can either be in our control or not, but regardless, its no reason to feel alienated or alone. The UAE has an abundance of psychology clinics, rehabilitation centres, and support groups. You have to find the one that works best for you. 

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.