Culture Shock: Depression in a Foreign Country

In the States, I was diagnosed with depression. Before I left it was under control and I didn’t think it would affect my trip to Jordan. When I got to Jordan, I had some difficulty adjusting, but I was fine for a couple weeks and I believed the problems were over. However, a few weeks after that I started developing something that felt like depression. I was scared.

I know what depression feels like at its worst. I’ve experienced severe depression, and I didn't want to take everyone I care about on that roller-coaster. I didn’t want to make my boyfriend, my father, and my grandparents worry about me again. I didn’t know how to stop what was happening. I didn't do any research about culture shock before this, so I googled extreme culture shock symptoms to see if that was the cause.

It turns out, culture shock can manifest just like depression, and I was confused. I was surprised because I though culture shock would look like anxiety, not knowing what to do or not wanting to leave the house because it’s stressful. However, sometimes it looks like depression where a person doesn't want to do anything because it's too hard, and they have little motivation.

I thought I was losing my mental health again. I had no idea about what to do to stop it from happening, and I doubted what everyone in the States assumed: that everything would be better once I got on the plane home. I thought that my depression wouldn't go away because of a twenty hour plane ride. Culture shock might go away once I get home though, and I hope it does.

Published by Brianna Lusby


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