Visiting a psychiatrist was a stigma in Jordan in the past, but is it still a stigma today?
Are we more open minded to the idea that mental illness or any psychiatric disorder is part of life?
I went to two psychiatrist in my life for my learning disability and for a bout depression/mood swings. Was I ashamed? I wasn’t, on the contrary i was relieved that whatever I had has a name, a label, something I can research and understand. The same thing happened to a friend of mine, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was prescribed some medications and she is getting better and more capable of adapting to the changes.
Both of those just two examples of many cases in Jordan and the Middle East. Millions of Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa have visited a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist in their life time. People nowadays accept a visit to a psychiatrist, they expect some medications (antidepressant, mood stabilizers, stimulants….).
There is no average patient/client nowadays, a visit to any of the psychiatrist clinics in Amman proves that people from various social classes visit a psychiatrist. Their reasons are various, some are struggling with real serious issues like bereavement, depression, phobias and OCD. While others visit a therapist to vent, fill a void in their life, break a routine; the therapist act as a novel item.
Maybe its cool now in the Middle East to visit ‘shrinks’ and pop pills, and live in a perceived world, that is better than the reality. A dream world were one is relaxed, less anxious, driven to a goal, not a world were one is lost, confused and driven to distraction.