Mental Health Resources for UK Citizens Living in the U.S 

Mental Health Resources for UK Citizens Living in the U.S 

UK citizens living in America can face unique challenges that strain one’s mental well-being. Since mental health is an important part of living a happy, productive life, it’s important to get the help you need when you need it or else a bad situation can quickly spiral out of control. Fortunately, there are resources for UK citizens living in America that can help expatriates regain a sense of control and stability as they settle into a new life in a new country.

Living Abroad and Its Effects

While living in a new country and experiencing a new culture can be exciting, not everyone adapts comfortably. Language-wise, going from the U.K. to the U.S. is no big deal, but getting used to the daily customs in America may take a little more effort. Moving from one culture to another requires expatriates to learn norms that may run counter to what they’ve known and lived in their native land. This degree of change shows up in your workplace setting, affects how you move about in society, and to a certain extent, determines what people expect of you.

For these reasons, it’s not uncommon for expatriates to experience stressors brought on by culture shock. Differences in etiquette, male-female roles, cuisine, and other cultural aspects can make for small irritations that build up throughout the day. Over time, these irritations can eat away at your sense of contentment and security from day-to-day. In effect, mental health for U.K. citizens living in America may be taxed depending on how well a person adapts to the culture.

A study conducted by Chestnut Global Partners and the Truman Group set out to see if the risk of developing mental health and substance abuse problems increases for employees who live and work as expatriates. Researchers compared the mental health status of individuals born and raised in the U.S. with individuals from overseas who live in the U.S. Results from the study showed expatriates were more than twice as likely to develop mental health and substance abuse problems than their U.S.-born counterparts.

Granted, mental health issues affect people from all cultures so some UK citizens may need to maintain the level of care or treatment they received when they lived in their homeland. Keep in mind, though, that someone who struggled with mental health issues in their homeland may have an even harder time living abroad. The good news is there are mental health resources for U.K. citizens living in America that can help ease things along.

What Happens When Mental Health Issues Go Untreated? 

Physical Health Declines

As separate as the mind and the body may seem, the mind-body connection is real. Recent discoveries in the field of medicine and neurology have found direct links between the brain and the body’s adrenal glands. The adrenal glands play a central role in overall health since they regulate the hormones that determine how well your body responds to stress.

The areas of the brain that control higher-level processes, such as thinking, memory, and decision-making influence how the adrenal glands respond to stress. This means, a brain under the influence of depression or an anxiety-based disorder will impair the body’s ability to cope with daily stressors, which only makes the disorder worse. This mind-body loop accounts for why depression and low energy levels tend to go hand-in-hand.

Mental health may also affect your longevity. People struggling with conditions like depression and schizophrenia have been shown to live shorter lifespans compared to individuals who don’t have these conditions. Part of the reason for this has to do with a person’s likelihood of seeking medical care. When mental health problems are at work, individuals are less likely to seek medical care or get routine checkups.

Researchers have found that people living with untreated mental health problems face an increased risk of dying from chronic medical problems:

  • Depression-based conditions have been linked with a 67 percent increased risk of dying from heart disease
  • Depression also carries a 50 percent increased risk of dying from cancer
  • People living with schizophrenia are three times more likely to die from a respiratory disease
  • People living with schizophrenia are also twice as likely to die from heart disease

Considering the long-term damage that mental health problems can wreak on your health, coupled with the added stress of adapting to a foreign culture, mental health resources for U.K. citizens living in America can be life-saving in a very real sense.

Substance Abuse Risks

Mental health problems and substance abuse share certain underlying causes and, as a result, often go hand-in-hand.

Both conditions cause changes in the brain’s chemical system and physiological makeup. Genetic vulnerabilities can also make a person more susceptible to developing mental health problems or engaging in substance abuse. Lastly, people who experience trauma early on in life also have a high risk of developing one or both conditions.

For these reasons, it’s not uncommon for people with mental health issues to engage in substance abuse as a way to self-medicate distressing emotional symptoms. On the flip-side, ongoing drug abuse can actually change the brain’s physical makeup to the point where mental disorders start to take shape. Ultimately, when mental health problems or substance abuse disorders go untreated, they only get worse with time. If you’re struggling with one or both of these conditions, there are many mental health resources available in the U.S. that can help.

Get the Help You Need 

Mental health resources for U.K. citizens are there to help you in times of crisis as well as offer support and guidance as you adjust to a new way of life in America. There’s no shame in asking for help, especially when it feels like life is spiraling out of control. All of the above resources are free, so there’s really nothing standing in your way. Get the help you need when you need it.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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