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Aseya Nasib was only 16 when she was diagnosed with clinical depression, which runs in her family. “The teen/early years are when it first manifests itself for many of us who have lifelong mental illness,” says the 36-year-old Emirati. Over the years, Nasib learned how to treat her depression with medication and therapy. It was after breaking her ankle roller skating that she realized there was more she could do to help other women – and...

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Pete Davidson, a standup comic and regular on the American sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, has had some very public struggles with mental health. Davidson has been frank about having borderline personality disorder and depression with suicidal thoughts, even in his comedy routines. Those issues will also play a central part in a Judd Apatow-produced film based on Davidson’s life, The King of Staten Island, which starts streaming on June 12. Davidson is just...

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Mental health is a subject rarely discussed by adults and almost never with or by children. But from this month, children at Al Watan School in Shakhbout City have a new book to help them try.  And if they get stuck or have questions, they can simply ask the author, Ben Smith, who also happens to be a teacher at the school. A Zebra Named Zion tells the story of a young zebra who learns...

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At this time of year, people are usually making plans for the summer – where to go for their holidays, which countries to visit. But, as no one needs reminding, there is nothing usual about this year. In the second of the Flow Talk series running throughout this month, clinical psychologist Dr Saliha Afridi proposes taking another kind of journey – an inner journey. Now is the perfect time to “harness the energy of Ramadan” and...

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Anna MacMillan started UAE Buddy, a group focused on bringing together people who need help with people who will give it, after seeing her mother struggle with stress and worry in Spain.  “She’s immune-compromised, lives alone and has a dog that needs to be walked,” says MacMillan. “She was very stressed with the current scenario, so I arranged for young neighbors to walk the dog so she wouldn’t need to come out daily.”  The results...

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While Covid-19 is proving tough for most people, the challenges are heightened in those who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).  OCD is a common mental disorder that causes intrusive and distressing recurring thoughts, urges or images. The most common of these “obsessions” include fear of contamination, fear of causing harm and fear of things not being in order or out of control – scenarios that are all too real these days.  “The current pandemic plays on...

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We’re all trying to stay positive and get through the Covid-19 crisis, but staying indoors and not knowing when it’s going to be over is a challenge. As the UAE starts to open up, we turned to some of the most positive people we know to find out how they have been coping.  Gretta Beckett, global elite tower runner, Dubai I have been injured with a bruised talus bone in my ankle for the last...

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As students continue to adapt to the reality of home schooling in these unprecedented times, experts are offering some recommendations on how to manage their mental health. Concerns were addressed in the recent webinar Health Out Loud x Re:Set Dialogues: Student Life during Covid-19, hosted by Middlesex University Dubai and Re:Set. “Students have been in touch with us regularly,” says Aditi Bhatia, lecturer in psychology and a wellness support group facilitator at the university. “We...

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Freddie Mercury. Tom Selleck. Hulk Hogan. Aside from the fact that they are a trio of great entertainers, all three have provided moustachioed inspiration for men around the world all November long. Whether wispy, bushy, handle-barred or carefully sculpted, more men than ever have been sporting moustaches in recent weeks as part of a men’s health campaign that has gone global. Movember was launched in Australia in 2003. It consists simply of encouraging men to...

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Last year, Marcus Smith completed 30 marathons in 30 days as part of the Dubai Fitness Challenge. It was a monumental achievement in which he had to dig into his deepest physical and mental reserves to pull through. Since opening InnerFight gym in Dubai 11 years ago, Smith and his team of coaches have helped numerous people overcome smaller, but equally significant, challenges –  building their overall physical and mental health.  The stigma around mental...

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Meg Nakagawa-Hoffman knows about mental health challenges: the New York University Abu Dhabi student was diagnosed with depression at the age of 17.  She sought out a psychiatrist and has been on medication ever since. Then her cousin, who suffered from mental health problems, took his own life. And she became determined to put mental health on the map in a productive way. Now 20, the political science and legal studies major – who is originally...