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Confusing culture and tradition with religion

  |  January 16, 2013

I am aware that some people go through depression and other mood disorders, but I couldn't figure out their reluctance in seeking medical help. It was only when I visited the American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology that I realised seeking help is not that easy. My colleague and I went to the centre for an interview with a psychiatrist there, seeking her expertise for an upcoming article on depression in adolescence. During our conversation with Dr Veena Luthra, I was surprised to hear many things.

Dr Luthra said she had a few patients who were homosexual, and some refused to talk about it in detail out of fear.

Since I am an Emirati, I know that many Emirati families prefer to keep such topics within the household because they consider it  taboo. Bringing up homosexuality at a family gathering could cause an uproar. This could be a reason why many young people do not discuss such topics with their parents,  due to the cultural and traditional restrictions.

Islam is against homosexuality because God created man and woman and both show completion. But what UAE society, including doctors, fail to understand is that seeking medical help in this regard is not prohibited in the religion. People are mixing up tradition with religion. As Dr. Luthra said, environment plays a crucial role in shaping who you are.

I really benefited from the interview because I am planning to write a story about this topic which many people consider  taboo and shameful to discuss.