Away from their families and long standing networks of school, university, work, sports and church friends; and facing traveling, work, school and domestic pressures; it is not surprising that expatriate families are vulnerable to addictions. One person may be the breadwinner, who has to prove to bosses in distant countries that they are worthy of their promotions and stay up all hours in the office, on conference calls, in business dinners and on airplanes.
The spouse may have to give up their job and suffer an identity crisis. Having to spend endless frustrating hours dealing with trivial domestic issues in a strange country and trying in vain to establish a social network that may be less than authentic and down-to-earth – and more interested in what you have than who you are. As business travel forces expat couples to spend time apart, the intimacy may wane and they become distant, indifferent and lonely or resentful and suspicious. With anxiety and stress building and alcohol, cigarettes, paid sex, benzos and other drugs in abundance, it is not surprising that the expat life can lead to addictions.
At Promises healthcare we understand the pressures that face families coming into a foreign land. We offer counseling for individuals who are struggling with addictions and provide help for families as well. We promise strict confidentiality over all our clients. Help is not far away. Consider approaching an addictions counselor today. Please contact our clinic if you have any inquiries or if you wish to have a consultation.
Written by: Andrew da Roza – Psychotherapist, Promise Healthcare