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Worldwide Medical Insurance News: Depression can be a common problem among expats

Working away from home can lead to higher rates of depression among expatriates, it has been found, as the overall rate of those suffering from the illness is on the rise.

According to the World Health Organization, depression has become more widespread issue globally in the last 20 years.

Seema Hingorrany is a clinical psychologist based in Mumbai and often works with expats trying to cope with a new life abroad.

She told the National: "Loneliness is a problem that really can make depression a lot worse. Back home you have your friends and family to fall back on.

"In places like Dubai, there is a very competitive atmosphere and maybe people aren't as friendly."

Advice offered by Ms Hingorrany includes going out and finding people to socialise with, which may mean that the gym is a good option.

It is easy to get chatting to the person on the next treadmill, but for those less sporty there are always options such as joining a book group or taking an evening class.

She said: "Just don't spend too much time alone and dwelling on your thoughts. That's the time when depression hits you really badly."

Another problem with addressing the issue of depression is that people feel a certain amount stigmatisation surrounding the topic.

Due to this, many people refuse to talk about it and don't seek the help they need in order to try and tackle the issue.

Ms Hingorrany said: "But I try and make clear in my book that depression can happen to anyone. It is common to be depressed and it's nothing to be ashamed of."

Expats may find talking to other people in a similar situation a real help, which is one of the reasons why expat groups are so popular.

Those who have been living in a community for longer may well have become used to the situation and found ways to cope, meaning they can help newer expats to settle in.

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