Is Brexit chaos breeding expat mental health issues?

Published:  26 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Moving, UK, Jobs, Euro, England
Leading psychotherapists are concerned the constant confusion over Brexit may impact vulnerable UK expats’ mental health.

British expats who took advantage of the EU’s freedom of movement directive to live, work or retire in their preferred European country are first in line for mental health problems, according to several experts in the field. Prolonged uncertainty, a total lack of control and the prospect of being forced to return to the UK after years away can trigger a perfect storm of mental health issues, especially in the British retirement community.

Conflict, long-term stress, fear and uncertainty are all part of the development of mental and emotional health problems, with anxiety and depression the first indications of more trouble to come. The way in which Theresa May has all but ignored the real problems Brexit will cause British expats has led to anger, frustration and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness in many of Europe’s UK expat communities.

According to mental health professionals, it’s now well understood that changing jobs, moving house and divorce are the three worst adult stressors, with Brexit forcing the first two as well as ‘divorcing’ Brit expats from their chosen lifestyles overseas. It’s made far worse due to expats’ total lack of control over their own futures and the devastating feeling they’re not being listened to and are therefore of no importance. Worse still, Brexit has taken away expatriates’ control over their own lives, with many at risk of stress-induced alcohol abuse as well as relationship problems.
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