Combating Post-Immigration Depression – Global Citizen Therapy (2023)

This blog post is about a topic that is very close to me and my family. Addressing post-immigration depression is an issue that, due to globalization, is increasingly common in our society.

What is post-immigration depression?

As you may have guessed from the name, post-migration depression is a mental health condition that affects migrants as they adjust to a new culture and environment. All over the world, people face these challenges when trying to integrate into a new country.

What are the symptoms of battling post-immigration depression?

culture shock

Culture shock is the initial disorientation that occurs when someone arrives in a new country and is confronted with unfamiliar surroundings and unexpected cultural differences. You may have had a very different idea of ​​what your life would be like in your new home, and the reality can be overwhelming.


Loneliness is sadness or grief that comes from isolation or feeling alone in a new environment. This loneliness can often go hand in hand with culture shock, especially if you haven't yet found a good support system like you did back home.

I miss my home

Nostalgia is the feeling of longing for your homeland, family, or familiar and comfortable things from your past life. The homesickness you may feel may be normal to some degree, but if you are feeling very homesick, it could be a sign of post-migration depression.

Why do I have Immigrant Depression?

You may find it difficult to adjust to life in your new country due to the pressure to assimilate. Depending on the country you immigrated to, this can be more challenging in some countries than others.

While some countries may offer immigrants opportunities to settle and integrate into society; other countries put them under constant pressure to assimilate and adopt the new culture. When this pressure is not managed properly, it can lead to depression.

Other possible causes of immigration depression are not being able to reconnect with your home culture, make new friends, or achieve your goals due to barriers such as language differences. Another challenge can be a lack of knowledge about the culture and customs of the host country.

Post-migration depression can make you feel like a stranger or unwanted person in your adopted country. Feeling like you don't belong anywhere can be depressing for anyone; but for someone who has been through emotional trauma, that feeling can be magnified and can lead to symptoms of post-migration depression.

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How do I know I'm depressed?

Depression is a disorder that causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. People who have depression have a higher risk of suicide.

You may be suffering from depression if you have some or all of the following symptoms:

– Feeling sad or depressed most of the time

– Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that you used to enjoy

– Decreased energy

- Difficult to focus

– Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)

– Change in appetite (increased appetite, decreased appetite)

– Thoughts of death (suicide), suicide attempts or suicide plans

– Irritability or frustration; anger; overreaction; act impulsively; take risks without thinking about the consequences

Immigrant depression is a public health problem highlighted by the World Health Organization. They estimate that millions of people around the world suffer from this condition each year. If you think you might be suffering from this condition, you are not alone and you can handle it.

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Managing post-immigration depression

Migrating to a new country can be overwhelming, to say the least. However, there are a few things that can help alleviate post-migration depression.

Connect with other people

Getting out, interacting with others, and making new connections can greatly improve your health and well-being. Studies have shown thatMaking friendsit helps improve your mental health as it will increase your sense of belonging, increase self-esteem and reduce stress. In an unknown place, just a friend can make a big impact.

When you have someone to show you where to get the best coffee and who you can lean on in difficult times, it will help with depression. Connecting with community groups is important for your mental health, so try to find a group based on your interests. If you face any barriers regarding this, such associal anxiety, be sure to resolve this.

leave the house

Leaving the house and entering the community can be scary, and that's okay. Moving to a new country requires a lot of courage. Channel that bravado when you feel overwhelmed leaving the house. It is important to resist the temptation to hide from your new surroundings. Even if all you can do is walk around the neighborhood, getting out will still be great for your health.

Explore with curiosity and wonder. It often helps to try to replace fear and anxiety with curiosity and gratitude. A simple change in mindset can make a big difference. Take, for example, the fear of trying to navigate a complicated public transportation system in a new city. Instead of focusing on the fear of how easily you can get lost in such a complex transit system, focus on how intricate and amazing it is to get to so many places. Browse local parks to enjoy the outdoors, find your new favorite restaurants, or try a local fitness class.

learn the language

Learning a new language is difficult and requires patience. Not speaking the language can make it difficult to order meals, make friends, or simply find your destinations. It can become increasingly frustrating and tempting to just interact with other expats who speak your native language. However, it is important that you also learn the language of the host country. This will allow you to feel more independent and give you a sense of accomplishment.

Stay connected to your culture

Our culture is deeply embedded in who we are and has shaped our view of the world. That is why it is important to maintain our culture so that we can feel strong in the face of adversity. Whether it's cooking meals from your home country, attending local festivals or cultural events, or speaking in your native language, all of this will help you feel like your old self. However, I must extend a word of caution here, as you could get stuck in what is called the immigrant time warp and this could lead you to struggle with post-immigration depression.

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What is the temporary tunnel of the immigrant?

The term “time warp immigrant” was coined by sociologist Edward J. Telles. Immigrant time warp is the condition of immigrants who are not assimilated into their new society but are instead trapped in the culture in which they grew up.

Immigrants experience a sense of loss upon arriving in a new country when they are forced to lose contact with their native culture. You may feel fear, anger, frustration, and resentment when you have to assimilate into a different culture with unfamiliar customs. Immigrant Time Warp is a term used to describe the immobile state of mind caused by culture shock and stress immigrants experience when moving to a new county. This mental immobility and refusal to move on as the world changes can make migrants feel even more homesick and depressed.

Migrants trapped in a time warp often fear losing their identity and culture in their new country. This fear dictates their lives and they hold tightly to their cultural values, customs, traditions and beliefs. This can be problematic because they can often find themselves on the receiving end of prejudice and discrimination, which can lead to even more anger and resentment.

Many immigrants experience this feeling of living in two different worlds. These migrants fear leaving their old world behind and forgetting who they are. Immigrants choose how much they will assimilate in their new country. Whatever you choose, keep in mind your mental health and the impact your decision could have.

Ask for help

Adjusting to life after migrating to a new country is never easy. A scientific study supported by the National Institute of Mental Health was the first recorded evidence that immigration experiences can lead to the onset of mental health problems. Studies have also found that there are higher rates of depression among immigrant populations with adverse conditions in host countries. These conditions include lower socioeconomic status, individually perceived discrimination, and stress from living in a different culture than your home.

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