Diagnoses: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Anorexia, Borderline
Therapies: Behavioral individual therapy, analytic group therapy, various clinics.
Resources: painting, writing, crafts, photos, baking, yoga
How and when did you learn of your illness?
I was diagnosed with major depression about 3.5 years ago. From one day to the next, I was no longer able to stand up. Weak, tired, powerless. Going to work? Impossible. The atypical anorexia became so bad in early 2018 that it has now also been diagnosed and also finally treated. And the borderline diagnosis is quite “fresh” added this year.
Why did you decide to show your face now?
For a long time I hardly dared to talk to anyone about it. I knew too little, knew no one who had ever dealt with it, was afraid and ashamed. Over time, I became more open. Then I talked about it at an event and there was a lot of positive feedback. Since the beginning of the year, I now run a blog to make my environment more aware of the issue. It is important that mental illness is given a different status in society. That it is not “bad” if I am or have been in therapy, but that it can also be a good sign. That my illnesses are accepted as “normal” illnesses.
How did your environment react when it learned of your illness, and how would you want your environment (and society) to deal with your illness?
My environment reacted mostly openly, but also partly with helplessness and incomprehension. I would like to see more rapid offers of help in society without long waiting times … That mental illness is taken seriously. That the positive qualities of mentally ill people are noticed and promoted. That there is more education, also in schools.
What things helped you most to accept the disease?
I am still in the process of accepting the diseases 100%. Some days I succeed, others I don’t. It helps me that I can now see my strengths that I have because of the disease. I realize that I am fortunate to be able to steer my life in a new direction that better suits me. What helps me is that I look at the diseases as signposts for my body.
What resources do you use in crisis situations?
I write lyrics and poems for my blog, journal, go for walks, trampoline, bake, do yoga, solve math problems, listen to audio books, edit or take photos.
What do you want to give to other people affected?
No matter how hard it is, don’t give up! Keep going, slowly, at your pace, always putting one step ahead of the other. One step at a time. Then the path doesn’t look so far and steep anymore. And get help if you need it. Asking for help is not a weakness, but a STRENGTH!
What do you want to give other relatives along the way? How can they best help you (on the one hand) and yourself (on the other hand)?
Don’t treat me like a raw egg to sneak around, but like an equal conversationalist with whom you can talk about anything. If it is too much for me, it is my responsibility to stop the conversation. Set your boundaries, say when it’s too much for you, take time for yourself, and pursue your own hobbies.
I won’t be helped if you end up miserable, too.
What makes your character and what trait do you value most about yourself?
I’m creative, like to be in nature in peace, love vegan baking and yoga, and would like to help others as much as I can. I write and publish poems on my blog.
She is also on Facebook.
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