Mindful Expat Episode 20: Shedding Some Light on Expat Depression

What you’ll hear in this episode:

• We’ll discuss what depression is, some factors that contribute to it, and why I think this is a particularly important issue for people living abroad.
• We’ll discuss some of the ways depression can be effectively treated and how you can connect with therapists in your area or online.
• We’ll discuss some alternatives to therapy and medication, such as exercise and mindfulness practice (surprise, surprise!), that can help with depression and be used alongside other treatment methods.
• We’ll talk about some of the common barriers to getting help while living overseas and how we can overcome these barriers.
• I’ll provide some additional resources for anyone struggling with depression or thoughts of self-harm or suicide (see below for links to these resources).

Resources mentioned in this episode:

• For more general information about depression, you can refer here or here.
• If you’re struggling with thoughts of harming yourself or ending your own life, please know that it’s absolutely possible to get help and feel better. You can refer to the International Therapist Directory (including the worldwide section if you don’t see anyone listed for your area). Additionally, if you feel that you are unable to keep yourself safe, here is a list of international suicide/crisis hotlines, where you can receive help and support over the phone. If you don’t see a resource that applies to your local area, you can also call the general emergency number of your country (like 911 in the US or 112 anywhere in Europe) or take yourself to the nearest emergency room. For people living in France, you can also refer to this section of my website for more local resources.
• The International Therapist Directory (mentioned back in Episode 8, when I interviewed the site’s creator, Josh Sandoz) is a wonderful resource for finding English-speaking therapists around the world who specialize in working with expats and third culture kids — this website has different sections for each country as well as a worldwide section, where you can find therapists who work with people remotely.
Angloinfo.com is another recourse I mentioned, where you can find English-speaking therapists (as well as all other sorts of other professional services).
• I mentioned some articles and studies about how practicing mindfulness can actually change our brain structure — so interesting, right? Here are a couple of these articles if you’re interested in reading more: here is a more general article about these findings, and here is a press release detailing the findings of one of the brain imagine studies I mentioned.
• If you’re interested in starting a mindfulness practice yourself, you can refer to this section of my website for some great resources. The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center is has a particularly great website with free audio-guided mindfulness exercises to help get you started. (As I mentioned, if you sign up for the Mindful Expat Newsletter, you’ll also receive a free mp3 download of an audio-guided mindfulness exercise that I’ve recorded for you!)

Stay in Touch!

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And, finally, if you’d like to get in touch and leave me a voice message with a question or comment that may be played in a future episode, you can do so here!

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