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Expats and mental health

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The expat blues

Social media is the place where most expats like to show off their new expat lifestyle, with pictures of amazing scenery, cocktails with friends and plenty of great food. All of these things combined are what may tempt you to start your own adventure abroad.


To many people, your life as an expat might seem like a dream come true – full of adventures and new experiences, but most people don’t know or understand the struggles that also come with being an expat.


The expat blues, migration gloom, or travel depression are all things that expats deal with at least once during their time abroad. Experiencing symptoms such as lethargy, anxiety, tension, stress and insomnia are quite common and can be caused by things such as culture shock, missing your social network, over stimulation and the dreaded red tape.

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Culture Shock

It is inevitable that you will experience some cultural differences whilst living abroad. These differences can be what make your new life so exciting, but if you have to deal with these for months on end, it can become quite hard to adapt.

Missing your social network

Despite it being easier than ever to keep in touch with friends and family if you live in another country, through Skype, Zoom, Facetime or Whatsapp, the possibilities to be able to "see" each other are becoming more and more extensive. This is something that many expats struggle with the most.

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Over-stimulation seems almost unimaginable, but there is such a thing as experiencing too much, too fast. As humans, we need to have periods of rest. If we don’t take time for ourselves and to relax, we quickly become overwhelmed.

Red tape

If you decide to take the plunge and move abroad, this often means that you’ll have to arrange all of your paperwork yourself.Moving to Barcelona will mean having to register to get your NIE, registering within the municipality, arranging your healthcare and other insurances and most likely also setting up a new bank account.In the Netherlands, these processes are usually very straight forward and a lot can also be done online. In many other countries however, trying to arrange the above can turn out to be quite a task and even just trying to make an appointment may seem impossible.

Personal Online Therapy

Personal Online Therapy is a team of 25 psychologists, relationship counselors and psychiatrists who specialise in helping expats abroad, no matter the language or location. They offer a confidential, safe and supportive space where patients can receive individual therapy, coaching and relationship therapy. Their global network of renowned psychologists have all lived as expats at some point, so they can relate to any challenges you may be experiencing, no matter how big or small. Due to the many years of experience their team has to offer, they are able to provide support in a wide variety of areas such as anxiety, depression, trauma, stress, autism etc. Another added bonus is that they are also available to provide calls around the clock, regardless of the time zone!If you’re an expat living in Barcelona, Personal Online Therapy might just be the perfect solution to your problems and by signing up you will receive an introductory appointment free of charge!

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