A mental health clinic in Dubai is seeing a significant increase in addiction cases during the pandemic, a medical expert said.
Often, addictive behaviors mask mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and low self-esteem, Dr. Haseeb Rohilla, a specialist psychiatrist from the Priory Wellbeing Center, said.
“We have noticed a significant rise in forms of eating disorders, particularly binge-eating and anorexia” he said.
Such mental health issues have been on the rise across the GCC and the world since the onset of the pandemic.
A recent study found that the number of people suffering from depression and anxiety across Saudi Arabia has soared since the Covid-19 pandemic. It attributes the mental health problems to fear of the virus, and the fall-out from lockdowns, restricted movement and a lack of social interaction.
Dr. Rohilla explained it is crucial to seek support to alleviate symptoms, address the source of the addiction and prevent it from becoming worse.
For those who cannot afford professional help, Dr. Rohilla advises seeking company, spending more time with family and friends, and establishing a routine around a healthy lifestyle.