Tag: mental health

S03E16 – Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – Caregiver – Sadika

S03E16 – Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – Caregiver – Sadika

In this episode, join us as we delve into the touching and powerful story of Sadika, a mother and caregiver to her daughter Rana, who lives with multiple sclerosis. Sadika shares her emotional journey, from confronting the diagnosis to finding strength in caregiving. Her insights into the challenges of maintaining mental and emotional health as a caregiver are both enlightening and inspiring. This episode is a tribute to the resilience and dedication of those who care for loved ones with chronic illnesses.

S03E15 – Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – Warrior – Rana

S03E15 – Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – Warrior – Rana

In this insightful podcast, hosted by Ali Khawaja, Rana bravely shares her journey with multiple sclerosis (MS). She discusses the emotional challenges following her diagnosis and the crucial role of awareness in fighting health-related stigmas. Rana’s story goes beyond her personal struggle, reflecting on how MS has affected her family, particularly in her motherhood journey. The podcast also touches on societal stigma, with Rana offering valuable advice to those newly diagnosed with chronic conditions. Highlighting the efforts of the National MS Society in the UAE, this episode is a compelling blend of personal narrative and advocacy, aimed at providing hope and support to those impacted by MS.

Mental Health Matters

Mental Health Matters

Oct 10, 2022

World Mental Health Day is a reminder to shed light on the many silent battles individuals face every day and how important social welfare, awareness, and education are in supporting our communities against various mental health issues.

Having the right access to resources and support are eminent factors that aid in the betterment of mental health around the globe, but the first step and the most crucial one begins with awareness of the self. Change always begins with us.

3 traits to start building on today to be more mindful


We are taught how to be kind from a young age, especially with strangers & family members. But what does it mean to be kind to yourself? Do you beat yourself up when you make a mistake? Do you let yourself feel? Do you give yourself room to be human? If the answer to that is yes, only then are you able to completely project that to others. To be kind is to connect as two equal souls with unconditional positive regard for the other, with absolutely no room for the ego.

The journey to becoming a kind human being is one which lasts a lifetime, it is not meant to be perfected as we are imperfect beings. It is one that is unwithering and persistent, to try again even when you have been unkind, to yourself or someone else.


What is empathy? In simplistic terms, it’s that warm feeling when you see or hear from someone and connect with them on an emotional level.
In more literal terms, it’s when “the emotional center perceives the feelings of others and the cognitive center tries to understand why they feel that way and how we can be helpful to them”. Empathy allows us to feel for the other person, irrespective of relationship, differences and reasoning. It is when you create a safe space for another human and invite them wholeheartedly.


You can be the best version of yourself only once you accept who you are. Acceptance is what allows us all to stray away from indifference and biases and invite more of the authenticity that exists. As humans, our sense of belonging is formed on the basis of how open heartedly accepted we are by others. We can only learn to love selflessly through genuine acceptance. It can sound like the easiest but is one of the hardest things to do. It is invaluable because it is something we all crave and fight for. Acceptance is at the core of every political, social, external and internal fight.

Manahil Ijaz

An expat in Dubai who loves engaging with diverse people and having honest conversations about life, through her blog- Egoiste Life. As a passionate artist, Manahil spends most of her weekends writing about the world, reading poetry and creating adventurous memories with the people she loves.

Manahil can be reached at:

Email- egoistethoughts@gmail.com

IG- @egoistelife

Website- egoistelife.com

Manahil Ijaz
Mental Health & Marriage

Mental Health & Marriage

So what does one normally do when they deal with mental health issues and end up married? Obviously build up walls, close your darkness away, bottles things up until you can’t handle it anymore and then breakdown in front of your partner over something completely irrelevant making them feel like they’re not doing enough. Right?

Men’s Mental Health

There is still a huge stigma surrounding mental health. Mental health can feel like a taboo subject for men living in Dubai yet 77% of men report experiencing mental health symptoms. Mental health symptoms can often be ignored and only addressed once they become unmanageable. Read more

How to Support a Friend with their Mental Health?

Research has shown that 42% of university students experience serious emotional or mental health problems with 26% of these students having a current mental health diagnosis. However, 78% of students report hiding the symptoms from those around them due to fear or stigmatisation. Providing a supportive environment for your friends to be open and honest about their mental health is an important step to help them to seek treatment and improve their mental health.

How to have these conversations?

Ask open questions: Open questions such as ‘What can I do to support you with that?’ give more scope for conversation and are more likely to encourage your friend to open up about their concerns.

Closed questions such as ‘Are you going to have any carbs with that?’ invite closed answers i.e. yes or no. Open questions can sound gentler and less direct.

Try to be supportive and understanding when you ask questions. ‘Why’ questions can feel quite aggressive sometimes. For instance, asking ‘What is it about this situation that’s worrying you?’ might seem less intimidating than ‘Why are you doing that?’

Practice reflective listening: This can be helpful both in communicating that you’ve really heard what your friend is trying to say, and in reflecting back emotions that your friend might not even be aware of.
So use phrases such as:
‘It sounds as if…’
• ‘It seems that…’
• ‘What I understand is that…’
• ‘So it’s almost as if…’

Read more


  • Educate yourself about mental health
  • Know your own boundaries
  • Let your friends know you are there for them
  • Learn where to signpost your friends if their mental health worsens
  • Encourage them to seek help
  • Respond with empathy and listen to how they feel
    • Don’t minimise their feelings or experiences  
  • Ask how you can help them
  • Inform others if your worried about the safety of your friend
  • Look out for risk factors
  • Remember to look after yourself and your own mental health
    • Get support if you need it

How to Deal with Exam Stress?

Exam season can be difficult. Most people dread exam season and the pressure it brings with its tedious hours of revision, last-minute panics, and anxiety-inducing post-exam chats with friends. It is normal to feel a bit worried about exams and achieving the grades you would Read more

How to Practice Mindfulness?

What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware of one’s physical, mental, and emotional condition in a specific moment with ourselves and our environment. It is non- reactive experience where you accept and pay attention to your thoughts and feelings without Read more

Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse

Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse

July 5, 2022

At least 1 in 16 people have been affected by someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD.) This does not include people who have toxic and narcissistic personality traits or the ones who have not been diagnosed.

Narcissistic abuse has become a reason why many women and men seek professional help.

Being consistently manipulated and undermined can cause someone to feel trapped and become a shadow of the person they once were.

Having experienced narcissistic abuse myself, I understand the impact of it and how it prevents us from living the life we want and deserve.

Over the years I have helped many clients to evaluate their relationships, recognise and heal from narcissistic abuse.

What is it?

Narcissistic abuse refers to the emotional, physical, sexual, or financial forms of abuse that a narcissist inflicts on others. It is a pattern of highs and lows in which the narcissist confuses their partner through manipulation and premeditated behaviours aimed at making their partner question themselves.

Narcissistic abuse can range from mild putdowns to severe, life-threatening violence.

Narcissist – the Charmer

Meeting a narcissist often feels exhilarating and like a dream come true.

Everyone around you seems to like them, they always know how to act and what to say. They put you on a pedestal and shower you with love, gifts and undivided attention.

This goes on for a while… perhaps weeks even months….

Narcissist is on his best behaviour until he realises that you are IN…

Signs of narcissistic abuse

The relationship starts to feel weird; you know something is off but you cannot put your finger on it. The magic is gone, and you are desperately trying to hold on to the memories and feelings you used to have when you first met and hope that somehow it will come back.

If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you may frequently feel angry, confused, or neglected. Keep in mind that narcissistic abuse isn’t always easy to detect. You may feel that you are being overly sensitive and insecure. Narcissists will trivialise and belittle your emotions. It becomes impossible for you to feel seen and validated. Instead you will consistently hear backhanded compliments, put downs, or accusations.

You might even question your own reality and wonder if you’re making this up and you are the “crazy one.” Narcissists may convince you that you are imagining things or deny that certain events happened.

You find yourself constantly walking on eggshells. You are always vigilant and your life is dominated with attempts to appease the abusive partner. You constantly play scenarios in your head, predicting how your partner will react and you often fear saying the wrong thing. Because you are so afraid of their disapproval, you train yourself to avoid confrontation, withdraw or even become mute. After trying all possible ways to save the relationship and get through to your partner, you feel so helpless and frustrated. Every time you feel or show rage, you automatically feel guilty and once again attempt to rescue the situation at the cost of your own peace and sanity. You apologise for things you have not done. In the process you lose your dignity and self respect.

This relationship feels like a drug. You know it is not good for you, but you are so addicted that you cannot stop.

It is impossible to have a reasonable conversation with a narcissist. Somehow your partner always feels right and justified in what they are doing. They may even apologise for their part, however the way they do does not feel authentic or heartfelt. It may sound something like – “You shouldn’t have taken it this way” or “I did that but what you did was much worse”.

Sometimes, when a narcissist feels that you have reached your boiling point and you are ready to walk away, they may offer to attend therapy or even show up with an engagement ring.

Having what you always wanted and hoped for, may feel encouraging at first. You may feel like the relationship is on the right track. Unfortunately, most of the time, the honeymoon phase does not last very long. As soon as narcissist has your attention, they lose interest and revert to the old ways.

One of the indicatives of a narcissistic abuse is control. The need to feel in control equals safety and feeling significant.

When the need for control is jeopardised, narcissists may react in extreme ways to restore their position. This can include threats, intimidations, or punishment. Even though they are the ones who are the perpetrators they will make themselves look like a victim and you – the bad guy.

To maintain the position of power, narcissists may monitor you, ask you lots of questions, ask you where you are going, who you message, who you spend your time with. They restrict your privacy and slowly remove your support system. They may also isolate you from their family and friends which can leave you feeling insignificant.

In the area of intimacy and closeness, narcissists knows what you need and how you would like to be treated and romanced. They will however find a way to withhold the affection from you. They may pretend they forgot about your birthday, refuse to have a heart-to-heart conversations, avoid holding hands or making love. They will make you feel like you do not deserve it unless you correct your behaviour and make it up to them.

Throughout the relationship you feel rejected and abandoned but you still desperately try to appear more attractive to your partner and earn their love and respect. All that is making you feel empty and worthless, but every time your family and friends ask you about how you and your partner doing, you make it sound like things are just fine.

You hope that if you try hard enough, you will be able to change them. The truth is that narcissist is unable to feel empathy or view people as whole beings with needs and feelings. Instead, they usually perceive them as objects. Unless they undergo long-term treatment, they may never improve.

Walking away

Falling in love with a narcissist is easy to do but walking away is not. Especially, after having your self-esteem destroyed.
Recovering from this toxic relationship takes time because, after such a relationship, everyone seems threatening. The manipulation of such a partnership has likely isolated victims from a support system that could help in recovery, so it is essential to revisit the past to understand better how to heal and regain your power back.
You may benefit from attending a support group or talking to a therapist.
Recovering from narcissistic abuse often entails re-examining your self-esteem and self-worth. How do you feel about yourself? How firm are your boundaries with yourself and others? Do you feel worthy and lovable?

In therapy, I help my clients explore why and how they got into these toxic relationships. This often involves exploring childhood wounds and people-pleasing tendencies. A good sign that the person is healing is when the trust in self and trust in others is restored.

Apart from therapy, I always encourage to implement more self-care in your daily routine. Take time to rest, eat well, and exercise.
I have seen many people recovering from narcissistic abuse and building healthy and loving relationships. This can be you if you only decide to give yourself and love another try.

Ania Lidia

As a qualified counsellor and a life coach for many years, I have helped people heal from past trauma, overcome low selfesteem, anxiety, depression. 
Having survived narcissistic abuse myself, over the last 8 years I carried out extensive research which allowed me to develop a bespoke coaching programme called Relationship Ready. This programme helped many clients to evaluate their existing relationships, break toxic patterns, recover from abuse and built healthy & fulfilling relationships. 

Ania can be reached at:

Email- info@lifecoachindubai.com

Instagram- @anialidiacoaching


Ania Lidia
Managing Expectations: A Simpler Way of Life

Managing Expectations: A Simpler Way of Life

Definition of expectations: you are expected to show up to work dressed, not naked.
Let’s look at this analogy for what it is, without any hidden connotations. This is a simple outcome that is considered an appropriate action within society.
I personally have a love-hate relationship with this term. Known as the number one initiator to stress, this term has an even more comprehensive level of misunderstanding and destruction attached to it.