Stigma… Yes or No

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.


5 thoughts on “Stigma… Yes or No

  1. Haitham Al-Sheeshany says:

    Hello 3ammar,
    To get to the point; I think it IS still a stigma, a big 1 for that mattet too.

    We humans consist of 2 parts; body and soul.
    The soul part (emotions, feelings, matters of the mind) needs healing too -surprise surprise!- it can get hurt and damaged, it needs some1 who knows how it functions and help us get through the scars we face during life that affects it – the soul, just like when our bodies gets ill and damaged.

    And although things have shifted -slightly- to the better regardinf the view of seeing a psychiatrist ; I think we still label it as ,, well as u might imagine :(.

    That`s how I see it 🙂
    thanks for this!


  2. observationofalostsoul says:

    So would u go to one or not? Bc I felt you said that there is still a stigma, and that you said “The soul part (emotions, feelings, matters of the mind) needs healing too”

    • Haitham Al-Sheeshany says:

      I have a psychiatrist! (2o 2oooooooooooh, lol). Armenian, gr8 gr8 guy 🙂

      First I had sessions related to stress + time management control techniques. After that I went to him several times and we kept in touch for a while. I`m not ashamed bwt it, y should I ?


  3. Stigma? Yes or No…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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