Long-distance marriage and mental health

Dr Arun Kumar K, Specialist Psychiatrist, Aster Jubilee Medical Complex, Bur Dubai

Expats who stay alone are under immense stress more so now during the pandemic than ever before. Adding to the woes of being lonely, has been the period of lockdown and restrictions, which though has eased now the stress related to job security, fear of job loss, salary cuts and its impact on sending money home or paying of EMIs and loans remain a constant threat.

Health issues faced by people in Long distance marriages

The stress begins to take over an individual which can have a lot of physical and psychological effects.

  • Physical symptoms may include chest pain/tightness, choking sensation, gastric problems, tiredness, headaches and body aches, disturbed sleep, BP elevations etc.
  • Many also face increased anxiety, panic attacks and depression or change in behaviors like agitation, decreased attention and concentration.

To de-stress themselves many get into habits of increased substance use like alcohol, cigarettes and mobile addiction.

Tips married bachelors can follow

  • Develop a daily routine - Regular sleep, Decent time to wake up, Proper and regular intake of food
  • Develop a habit of exercising regularly
  • Openly discuss emotional issues with spouse/trusted family members
  • Identify good friends, set boundaries and avoid getting involved in relationships with emotional strings attached
  • Avoid using alcohol and smoking to combat stress

Things to keep in mind

  • Be aware of changes in yourself - physical, emotional and functional
  • Acknowledge the presence of stress rather than being in denial
  • Write down all possible factors causing the stress
  • Try and ensure a healthy work-life balance
  • Make feasible plans depending on the current scenario
  • Seek help, if required

If you feel the need to consult a doctor, you may avail Aster’s tele-consultation services by booking an appointment at https://asterhospital.com/ or https://asterclinic.ae/