10 June, 2009

The Urgent Need for Therapy

These days, it's a common thread of discussion among most of the Expats - regardless of the direction they come from, to UAE. It could be any one of these threads:
- Did you hear "so and so" are leaving the country for good?
- You know i heard that there has bee 26000 one way departures in one week alone thru Emirates Airlines?
- I heard that your good friend and his wife lost their jobs together? What are they doing now?
- Hey, I heard that you still have not been able to get something to pull along... so what have you decided?
- Are you going to make a decision within the next 2 months? Let me know, I can get you a good price for your car...
- etc. etc.
I find that the most common undercurrent that flows among these discussions, is something to do with "How best we can capitalize on the exodus" - whether it's your friend, neighbour, sworn enemies, colleagues, professional friends, or just anybody. And more often than not, the questioner / initiator is also under some kind of pressure - either money, job, pressures etc. related to this recession.

However, it's rare to find someone who's putting in efforts in a small or big way to make a difference to the lives of the affected souls! (I'm not talking of an exceptional few who have been helping even before the crises began!).

No wonder then, that we hear of many people who have been badly shocked by the crises - some of these have been made redundant after 5-10 years of dedicated service to their companies! A few of them are so shattered that they're unable to decide whether and how to return to their respective countries. Fear, loss of confidence, depression, inferiority complex, etc. type of psychological problems haunt them every hour of their waking life.

Therefore, when one of my friends lost his job, and faced the same situation, I thought of trying to help him, and had some consoling sessions with him, his wife and children. With my limited knowledge, I could understand that this person (probably one of many others in UAE) has a terrible loss of confidence and self-respect, and needs some affordable means of urgent therapy, to even get ready for a final departure for his home country.

I'm sure there are many like him, and as such I feel majority among these Expat communities - especially from developing nations who managed /are forced to stay for a while in this country - need some kind of Psychotherapy or Psychiatric or friendly help, to cope up with the troubled times.

I'd like to invite all the readers to come up with their experiences on this forum / platform, so that we can offer similar help to the affected ones!

(By the way, I checked for some good institutions / clinics for this friend of mine; but probably regardless of their goodness they would not be able to help, since he's an Indian, and language or at least culture would matter in a big way to calm him down!
Hence would anyone of you have any suggestions for an Indian Psychiatrist / Clinical Psychologist who can help? You can write to me, replying thru this column)


Paraglider said...

Perhaps the problem is that people who so much identify themselves with what they do for a living that the loss of a job is traumatic, are/were already in need of help before the downturn occurred?

Anonymous said...

Good therapy is hard to come by here as it is. "affordable" and "good" dont ever go hand in hand. A doctor has to make a living.

The cooks (or crooks) at the NMC charge 200-250 a session, and they arent worth it.

I know of a doctor in Abu Dhabi, a Harvard grad, and not full of himself. Knows how to listen, and doesnt sugar coat things.

His going rate is 500 per session though.

My form of therapy is the cheapest. A box of old fashion razor blades. 3 AED. It's the reason why I cant wear short sleeves in public, but it's helped for 12 years.

Hope your friend gets the help he needs.

Anonymous said...

Oh, btw, there is ONE decent guy at the NMC in Dubai. His name is Dr. Kumar. I think he's the only therapist there. so yeah. The NMC thats basically on the border with Sharjah. Dont know if he's still there though, last time I saw him was... 8 months ago maybe.

But like I said, I didnt believe he was worth my time or money. But maybe the culture barrier will be less of a factor with your friend.

Anonymous said...

Greetings :)

I'm so happy my grandmothers lived a hard life. World Wars, occupations, emergency, poverty - Masha Allah, their preserverance make me shy to be so fragile in life. By God's Wills, they managed to get to old age with a smile! A smile for me, their descendant whom - I feel if I lose hope in life they'd be dissapointed in me. I am not a weak link.

May Allah SWT help me.

For muslims, the best happiness is faith. After prayers & reading the Quran there's happiness in the heart. Alhamdulillah. No matter what happens in life, if you have that happiness you're going to be fine.

Everybody dies, but it's your strive & good deeds & faith that makes value to your existence. In funerals, people talk about the departed & appreciated what they did. Not their jewels, status, clothes. May Allah SWT brings guidance & happiness in your hearts! Love.

Harsha said...

Anon at 1:34 - WOT!?

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon that God is a powerful force in times of need, Sadly that seems to be the only time many give a second thought to God.

But sometimes belief isnt enough. Thats reality. I think of a human being being made up of 3 layers:

Body, Mind, Soul.

For the body you go to a doctor, for the soul you go to God, and for the mind, you go to a therapist.

It's an illness, just like cancer. Worse sometimes. So if you do have a mental issue, get some help.

Harsha... To me WOT is this:


I didnt understand your innerwebs lingo there. I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

If Sharjah is not too far then try Psychiatrist Dr. Vijaykumar at Al Lulu Medical Center, Sharjah
Phone 06 5646262. Highly recommended and effective.

Hope it works out well in the end.

shantanusengpta said...

Anon 11 June 1:34 - can u explain 3AED and Razor factors u mentioned?

Others: Has anyone any knowledge about Dubai community mental health center near Magrudy in Jumeira? Are they good and have Indian good listener psychiatrists? Any knowledge of charges? What about Canadian Speciality and Belhoul speciality hospitals. How's Fouad Abdel-Latif?

Anonymous said...



It'll calm you down.

amazingsusan said...

shantan & Harsha,

You can also read the personal (and quite painful, yet also hopeful) account of a young woman with direct experience of cutting on my site here: http://tinyurl.com/n4chyp

Anonymous said...

My friend is quoted in this story, which I thought was quite interesting and relevant:


Tainted Female said...

There is no such thing as "Good Therapy" or a "Good Therapist" in the UAE. I spent 12 years there, most of which in search of just that. Money was NOT an issue for much of that time, as I just needed help at any cost.

Because of the crappy mental health professionals there, I was not only treated with lethal combinations of rotating (because the hospitals actually run OUT) drugs, my symptoms only ever increased until my choice was leave UAE or die - most likely at my own hands. I was diagnosed as Bipolar there, when in fact I'm severely depressed and suffer anxiety disorders, and the high potential of Borderline Personality Disorder. And I myself am a cutter.

Out for 2 years now, and I can honestly say though my condition is a clinical life-long illness, I'm handling a hell of a lot better here than I ever did there.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend.

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