Qatar cares for your mental health

By Noor Odeh

When we think about health, most of the time we think about our physical appearance. Taking care of our bodies is an important task, such as eating right, exercising, etc. But as important as caring for the physical appearance, it is also important caring for the mental health. According to the World Health Organization, their definition of health is, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

As children, we tend to cry and show emotions when we’re in pain. We would go tell a grown up what is troubling us. However, as we get older, many people prefer to keep their troubles to themselves depending on personality type or the society we live in. People come as introverts, extroverts or both, as ambiverts. Regardless of all the factors that make us who we are, everybody needs to do what it takes to take care of their mental health.

With worries and responsibilities, life gets harder sometimes. Life pushes us sometimes to overthink situations, freak out about tight deadlines, lash out in people’s faces. We come across different mental problems, which is normal to all human beings, but here are some of the ways we can learn to cope and learn how to help others cope.

Depression:

Being sad is an emotion we all face in our lives. For instance, when we want to go swimming in a lake, as children, but it’s too cold outside or when a puppy dies, we feel sad and upset. Sometimes, there are memories or events that make us feel more than just sad, it is a heavier weight on our emotions that can lead to becoming depressed. Sometimes you feel sad but for no apparent reason. Depression is one of the most common mental health problems many people face around the world. It is very crucial to pay attention to someone who may be depressed.

Some of the behaviours people may face when feeling depressed:    

  • Not getting out of bed for long periods of time
  • Changing appetite and diet habits
  • Lashing out at people dearest to you like family members and friends
  • Avoiding social interactions like going out, going to work or school

If you notice behavioural changes in your loved ones, try talking to them and soothing them. Be present in their lives, understand the way they are thinking and what they are going through. Be supportive. Also, refer and encourage them to talk to professionals, it is never a shameful thing to talk about one’s fears and problems to people who dedicate their lives to helping people cope with depression and relieve it.

Sometimes, one may feel depressed, but think it is a weakness to show it. On the contrary, showing how one feels is a strength, it means that one is a human. We all have our off days when we feel like hiding under a blanket and switching off our phones, but those are feelings we mustn’t allow to take over our lives. We must speak out and express how we feel. You are a powerful and wonderful human who has so much to offer. We may at times feel hopeless and lost in life, but there are ALWAYS solutions to feeling better and motivated. We just need to channel our emotions into projects that bring great outcomes.

Ways to relieve depression:

  • Stay out and enjoy time with friends and family: We all have that one crazy friend who we love so much and loves to do daring things. If you feel lonely or down, go out with that person and do what makes you happy, what makes you laugh until your stomach hurts. Same with family members. You may not want to at first, but trust me, it will make you feel ecstatic. 
  • Get a pet: Animals have many positive impacts on humans. Caring for a pet makes you step out of your comfort zone and makes you feel like you are a human that is needed in life by many! Your pets mainly need you for survival, I mean someone has to feed them right?! Take cats for example, yes, we love their videos on YouTube, but they also trigger calming chemicals in your body which lower your stress and anxiety levels.
  • Meet new people: aside of school or work, join a sports club or dancing or any hobby you think you would enjoy. By doing so, you're exercising and releasing endorphins, which is a hormone that reduces the pain you have. When meeting new people, you may discover positive vibes from them that can make you happy and relaxed. 

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder has many terms people go by such as “manic depression” or “bipolar affective disorder” and all those terms share many characteristics of those in depression; feeling down, hopeless, empty and tearful. According to National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder is when there are unusual shifts in mood, energy levels and inabilities to do regular daily routines. It is a brain disorder. There are four types of bipolar disorders, but they generally all share the same characteristics. 

Friends and families, if you notice changes in sleeping patterns, activity levels or unusual behaviours, talk to your loved ones and try to understand how they feel. They may be going through depression or bipolar disorder. If you don’t think you know how to help, refer to them to a professional they can confide in. All human beings feel lost or down at times, it’s everyone’s job to be there as a friend or family member to care and to love for them and get their spirits cheerful and comfortable.

To learn more about bipolar disorder and treatment, please click here!

Ways to relieve bipolar disorder:

  • Meditation: The more you meditate, the lower your depression goes. It’s always good to step outside in the nature, well in Doha, it’s getting cooler, we can go walk around the corniche or take friends and families and go see Al Khor park with all its greenery.
  • Muslim prayer: Personally, when I tired yoga for the first time, I felt like I was mimicking the prayer moves I preform five times a day. There are many physical and mental health benefits from both Yoga and prayer. According to a journal about Islamic prayer, the authors Shabbir Ahmed Sayeed and Anand Prakash said, “During Sajdah dissipation of the electromagnetic energy accumulated from the atmosphere takes place by the grounding effect at regular intervals resulting in a calming feeling.” (Source: The Islamic prayer (Salah/Namaaz) and yoga togetherness in mental health)
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Do you like sushi or fish in general? Salmon, sardines and lots of other fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and what those fatty acids do is regulate moods. Go have sushi nights and enjoy meals with friends and family members.
  • Healthy Lifestyle choices: Having a good sleeping pattern, eating foods that our bodies need to be fit and healthy are ways to recovery from bipolar disorder. Try seeing a doctor who can check what type of bipolar disorder you may have and ask questions about making your lifestyle better and healthier.

Anxiety & Panic attacks

Anxiety is a normal feeling for everyone. Everybody has a different breaking point when they feel overwhelmed about a task or about an event they have to go through. It only becomes problematic when it prevents one from doing what they normally do, that is when it becomes a mental health concern. There are many types of anxieties and levels of panic attacks. One of the most common types of anxiety is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and it happens either through genetic connections or environment you live in. Around 6 in every 100 of people experience this type of anxiety for various reasons. Source: Anxiety & panic attacks

People with anxiety problems experience physical symptoms like difficulty breathing, heart rate rising, hair loss, sweating, trouble sleeping, etc.

Few Solutions to GAD:

  • As mentioned above, get a cat or any cute, furry animal friend.
  • Massage: helps release stress hormones
  • Exercise: disentangles yourself from worries and sharpens your focus
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: it’s a talking session with a professional who can guide you to organizing your thoughts and breaking them down to smaller pieces so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

When you see someone who suffers of anxiety, help them by offering to exercise with them or advising them to talk to a professional about their feelings and worries. You can be their solution to bad feelings they have.

To reach out to a professional or to recommend a loved one suffering from any mental-health related issues, click here!

 

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