mental health awareness

Not being able to talk at times

I’m sitting in my therapists office and she asks me some simple questions.
“How are you feeling?” – “Not that good” is what I say instead of explaining why I feel horrible. “What happened this week?” – “Not that much” I say, not being able to think of what I did the last few days.

“Tell me a bit about your day” she says. And that’s when it happens.
I want to answer her question, but I just can’t get out a word. I try to breathe, but suddenly it feels like I’m suffocating. She doesn’t say anything. I look around searching for the clock, a minute goes by, it feels like an hour. “What’s so hard?” she asks. “I don’t know” is the only thing I can bring myself to say.
She asks a ton of other questions, but I can’t answer anymore. I’m silent for the rest of the session, my therapist doesn’t know what to do.

It’s not only that I am so nervous I can’t concentrate on anything or that I am too shy to answer. It’s wanting to speak but not being able to find your voice, wanting to express yourself but not being able to do it through words and sentences.

I want to talk to you, I want to look you in the eyes, I want to ask you questions, I want to be friendly, but instead I don’t say a word, I stare on the ground, wait until you give up on our conversation and come off as rude.

It’s not that I don’t want to speak, it’s simply that I just can’t. Even in therapy it’s one of the biggest obstacles. Even my therapist told me a hundred times, that she doesn’t know how to handle it.

Please, if you try to talk to someone and they’re not answering, please do not assume that it means they’re rude. Sometimes it’s just too much.

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mental health awareness

A day in the life with depression

Hearing my alarm ring I get disappointed for waking up again. I don’t wanna have to get through another day, I don’t have the strength to face another day, I’m tired and I want to sleep.

I lie in bed for another hour, doing nothing but staring at the ceiling, thinking of possible excuses to call in sick today. Who cares if I show up? Does it even matter? I won’t be able to focus on anything, so why should I even force myself to go there?

I’m running late and now I can’t decide what to wear. I don’t even care how I look, so why is it that hard for me to find something that feels worth putting on? I want to go back to bed and just sleep, everything is too much and I’m so tired.

I think I don’t need breakfast today, I don’t have enough time to eat anything, nor do I feel hungry. Honestly, it doesn’t matter, I feel like shit anyways.

I didn’t catch my bus and have to wait another hour. I don’t have the motivation to go back home, so instead I sit in the rain for a bit. I’m getting cold and I think about just giving up on today and going back to sleep again.

I arrive an hour late at school, my teacher says that I have to get up earlier and that this will no longer count as an excuse. I want to tell them that I didn’t even plan on arriving here and that I considered to throw myself in front of every car that I passed on the way.

During class I can’t focus. I want the day to be over already. I start to count: Seconds, minutes, hours until I can finally leave. Just another 45 minutes, I try to count to 2700 to pass the time. I get tired at 300. 40 more minutes to go. I don’t think I’ll be able to stay awake any longer. I’m so tired.

My teachers get upset with me because I didn’t tell them about my missing homework. But what am I supposed to do? I can’t tell them this every single day. I never have my homework. I want to do them every day and every day I fail. I don’t know how to build up the motivation and energy to do this. It’s not that I don’t know the answers or anything, I just don’t get anything done.

During class several teachers come up to me. They’re disappointed because I don’t write everything down. I’m sorry. I’m disappointed, too.

As I finally arrive at my house again, I just want to fall into bed. But I have to do some stuff to help my mum, and oh, I want to help her so much, but oh, I’m so overwhelmed by everything and even the simplest task is too hard for me.
Seeing my family doing so much more than I do hurts and I understand that it comes off as laziness most of the time, but really, I’m trying, I’m trying so hard.

I probably should eat something, I’m feeling a bit hungry, but I just don’t care. I’d rather starve than make myself something to eat. I just can’t find the motivation to get up and walk those few steps to the fridge. Later on I get really hungry, so I just search for something that I don’t have to prepare and eat it. I honestly don’t care.

And day after day I sit on my bed, staring at the wall, thinking about doing my homework and day after day I end up not doing it. I want to do it, I really want to do it. I won’t get a job, I won’t succeed in life, I won’t ever be happy again, I probably won’t even survive until I’m 20.

I avoid to look at my phone, because answering peoples messages stresses me out too much and I don’t have the energy to keep up with literally anything. I binge watch something I can’t focus on until I can finally go to bed at an embarassing early time.

I lie in bed thinking about how I wasted another day and ask myself how I am supposed to get through tomorrow. I’m already tired for like the next three years. I just want to sleep, but please, I don’t want to dream anything, because even dreaming is too exhausting. Some time after midnight I eventually fall asleep, thanks to my sleeping pills.
I made it through today, but it was hard. Will I make it through tomorrow?

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mental health awareness

13 Reasons Why ..

..and what I think about it

 

13 Reasons Why

What is it?

13 Reasons Why is an american drama-mystery television series based on the novel “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher. It was adapted by Brian Yorkey for Netflix.

The series revolves around this girl, Hannah Baker, who committed suicide and left behind a box of 13 cassette tapes on which she recorded the reasons that made her take her own life.

Each tape is dedicated to one person that had an impact on Hannah’s suicide, those people will receive the package of tapes, in the same order in which the girl recorded their stories, and have to pass it on to the next person. If they refuse to do so, a seperate set of records will be released to the public.

Watching the show we follow a high school student, Clay Jensen, as he listens to the tapes.

What can I say about it?

I watched the show twice and after thinking about it for quiet a long time I think I’ve formed my opinion on the show.

First of all, I disagree with so many things they did there, BUT I have to admit that watching it for the first time I actually thought that I liked the show a lot. I was literally in love with it.
But after watching it for the second time and thinking a lot about it, I figured I didn’t like the show itself, I liked that I found something I could use to trigger myself and make myself feel even more depressed.

And that’s the first and most disturbing thing about Thirteen Reasons Why, it’s honestly so triggering. There are like three or more episodes that show rape and sexual assault VERY GRAPHICALLY, as well as the suicide episode which shows Hannah’s suicide in a very unappropriate and dangerous way.
If you look up the guidelines on how to safely portray suicide on TV, you’ll recognize that they did absolutely everything they were warned not to do.

Second, I absolutely hate that they made Hannah’s suicide some sort of revenge and made it seem like there’s always a specific reason as to why someone takes their own life. (That’s not how it is!!!)
They also made all those people in Hannah’s life responsible for her actions. Yes, a lot of them have done her wrong in so many ways, but STILL suicide is always the decision of a single person! Nobody but Hannah herself took her life!

What – for me – probably seems like the most unbelievable thing is, that they didn’t talk about mental health A SINGLE TIME. Yes, we’ve heard Clay’s mother talk about him having night terrors and that he had to go to therapy, but they’ve never ever talked about Hannah’s depression or possible PTSD.
I simply can’t understand why a show that claims to educate on mental health issues doesn’t even mention this topic in its progress.

This is also what the next point is about. Hannah reached out, she asked for help, she went out and talked to the school counselor.
He kinda played down her problems, which probably happened because he didn’t know her and her story. As Hannah says that she’s been raped the counselor tells her that, in order to report this, he needs to know the name of the offender and a few more details, just as it has to be done in real life.
After hearing this Hannah walks out like “Well, I gave life one last chance, but they’re not gonna help me, now I’m definitely gonna kill myself.”
So basically the school counselor did his job and everything he could do in this certain moment. Yes, he could have been a bit warmer and may could’ve asked more about how safe or unsafe his student really is, but Hannah blaming the school counselor on not helping her is not okay.
For the producers, this point could’ ve been a really great time to bring in the support of others or at least the possibility of Hannah getting help. But it didn’t happen.
The reason why I think this is really bad is, that it actually discourages the viewers to reach out and seek help. For me it feels like they wanted to say that it’s a waste of time, and nobody’s gonna help you anyways. Somehow that’s exactly the opposite of the intention they had with this show.
PEOPLE IF YOU NEED HELP, YOU WILL GET HELP. PLEASE DO NOT STOP REACHING OUT, THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT WILL LISTEN AND CARE.

In the process of the series a student dies in a car crash, which affects a lot of the other students in a negative way. The thing that bothers me about this episode is, that the school doesn’t do anything at all. They do not make sure their students are okay and able to deal with this on their own.
This is not how it is in real life. Most schools have suicide or crisis protocols and offer psychiatric or therapeutic help when things like this happen. Actually a school is obliged to make sure their students get help and the opportunity to talk to professionals after events like this.

Another thing that just doesn’t make sense to me is that after Hannah’s death Clay also shows symptoms of depression, but still, he doesn’t get any help. Even such a short time after already losing a student to suicide, they still don’t see the signs and offer the help they need. Wouldn’t the logical conclusion here be to educate the teachers and also the students on how to recognize when others are feeling depressed or suicidal?

What I also didn’t like was that there were sooo many issues shoved into one show, like, yes, this is a high school drama and high schoolers have a lot of issues, but Netflix seemed to want all of these at once just to get enough reasons for Hannah to kill herself in the end. And, for me, it’s really overwhelming and we tend to lose the storyline and the main topic it’s all about.

So, to sum it up..

In my opinion the show has a good intention and is based on a very good idea, but the realization has a ton of flaws.
I, personally, wouldn’t recommend watching this show unless you are feeling really stable and distanced from the topic.
Even if you feel like you do not get triggered easily, you will probably end up getting triggered.
If you still want to watch the show I would recommend to not watch it on your own or alone. You don’t know how you will react and you really shouldn’t risk being unsafe because of it.

For me, it’s NOT a show that raises awareness on mental illness, depression, bullying or suicide, nor does it EDUCATE its viewers on these topics.

I’m glad that there is a show about sensitive topics like mental health issues and suicide on traditional television and I think it’s really good to get these topics out of the taboo-zone.

The things I also liked about this show was that I could relate to a lot of things on a personal base. I really liked the way of filming it and the cinematography behind it.

But all in all, I think, it’s a show that isn’t suitable for a lot of viewers and should only be watched with care and background information on how to handle possible reactions.


Need help now?

  • Call 911 or your national emergeny number.
  • 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
  • 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-8255)
  • Text: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)
  • International Suicide Hotlines
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mental health awareness

Why I push away the ones I fear to lose

I know I get too attached. I always feel like I can’t trust anyone, but if I do, I start to get attached which comes along with the fear of losing the ones I need the most. And then, somehow, I always happen to push away exactly these people. That’s what happens all the time.

And here’s why.

I know I have trust issues, I usually never trust anyone. But sometimes I start to trust people and suddenly they become an important part of my life. I get obsessed, and that’s when I get so afraid of losing them, that it seems like the only option I have is to push them away.

I don’t want them to recognize how much they mean to me, because it might freak them out a bit and they might distance themselves, but at the other hand I want them to know how much of an impact they have on my life.
I don’t want them to think I’m obsessing over their exsitence, but I want them to know that they’re cherished as a person.
I don’t want them to get annoyed with me, but I want to talk to them or spend time with them.
I don’t want them to think I’m like some kind of stalker, but I for sure want them to know that I don’t hate them.
But most of the time that’s probably exactly what they think of me.

Those people are often teachers, therapists or others that did something that helped me or that I appreciated. Most of time I don’t really talk to those people, I probably don’t even say hi when I walk past them, because I am too shy.
I’m 24/7 afraid that someone I like hates me.

I am so terrified of being hated, forgotten or left, that I think I have to be the one who leaves first, because it hurts less to leave than being left.

But I’m not strong enough and so I keep losing people. And I always lose them. Maybe if I told them how important they are to me and that I want to stay in touch, some of them wouldn’t leave completely.

I hope you always remember someone out there appreciates you and your existence in their life, even if you don’t get to recognize it. 

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mental health awareness

A friendly reminder

Mental illness doesn’t take a break over the summer holidays.

Just because we don’t have to go to school doesn’t mean we’re suddenly doing okay. Our fears and thoughts don’t stop the moment we get out of school for a few weeks, they don’t care about relaxing or swimming pool time.

Having a lot of time now doesn’t always make us feel better and less depressed or anxious, no sometimes it makes us feel even worse, because we’re lacking the daily structure and have even more time to overthink.

Just because we don’t have to get up for school doesn’t mean that getting out of bed is easier when we’re on summer break. No, it might be even harder because we’re not forced to get up in order to be on time.

Not having to go to school gives all of us a lot of free time, but that doesn’t mean that we’ll be able to do things all day. We still get stressed and overwhelmed, we still fear the stuff we fear when we’re going to school and we still struggle with daily tasks.

Being on summer break doesn’t make us able to do fun things with our friends all the time. Often we don’t get to enjoy the stuff mentally healthy people enjoy, we might get exhausted or upset very easy and still need to plan our activities.

If you or someone you know struggles with mental health problems, please remember: Holidays or breaks don’t magically cure our illnesses, we’re still struggling and that’s totally normal and okay. Healing takes time.

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mental health awareness

What being inpatient really is like

I might or might not have written this to convince myself that going inpatient isn’t as scary as it seems. Yes, I’ve been inpatient before; no, that doesn’t mean I’m not scared of doing it again. So here you go:


Thinking about inpatient treatment for mental illness, the first thing that comes to peoples minds is probably a lot of scary stuff.

Sure, it is scary as hell, but since you’re fighting a war inside of your mind, fighting to get your life back, doing things you never wanted to do and so on, that’s pretty normal.
It’s okay to be afraid, it’s okay to fear it, because IT IS SCARY.

But there is so much more to this.

Being inpatient on an open station isn’t sitting in your room in a hospital gown crying all day, it’s walking around in pyjamas all day every day and nobody cares what you look like.
It’s playing video games with other patients and fighting about who gets to be Peach in Mario Kart to distract yourself, trying to get into the staff wifi for free and watching at least two movies a day.

It isn’t eating the same gross hospital food alone in your room everyday, it’s sitting at a table with your friends, eating like a family and building stuff with bread and tooth sticks.
It’s playing games like “Who am I” on the table, so those with an eating disorder have something other than food to think about and those with social anxiety have something to talk about to the others.

Staying in the hospital over night isn’t always hearing the alarm go off, people screaming outside your room or ambulances arriving every night.
Sure that happens too, but sometimes it’s sneaking out of your room at midnight to wish your friend in another room a happy birthday.
Sometimes it’s begging the staff to allow you to stay outside of your rooms until midnight and them being okay with it.
Sometimes it’s staying outside until locktime watching the stars and listening to music.

Being there for a really long time isn’t missing home every single day and wanting to escape all the time.
Sure homesickness is real and will come along quiet often, but eventually you’ll meet the most wonderful people in there, with which you’ll be in contact for the rest of your life and still talking about the time you spent inpatient together 20 years after.
Maybe it’s finding out that you’ll consider this place your second home for the rest of your life and that it will always belong in your heart .

It’s experiencing things you’d never imagined before, good and bad. But it for sure isn’t just scary.

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mental health awareness, Phobia

Specific phobias

Did you ever fear something so much you would have rather died than having to experience that thing?

That’s what it’s like to have a specific phobia.

Everything I do in my life is meant to prevent on experiencing my fear, every thought I think is checked at least twice in case it could make this thing happen.

I can’t even write about what my biggest fear is, because when I write or talk about it it seems even more real and even more like it’s gonna happen in any moment.

I am ashamed, of my fear and of myself. I know that these thoughts don’t make sense, I know that my fear seems irrelevant to others and I know that my phobia is what holds me back from living a happy life.

Not even one simple action like putting a glas on a table isn’t thought through a hundred times. Did I ever do it like I’m doing it right now and was I afraid or did the thing happen? If I do it like this now, will I be afraid or will this thing happen? If I do it like this now and I will be afraid or the thing will happen, I won’t ever be able to do it like this again, because it will happen again. If I won’t ever be able to do it like this again, I will get afraid and the thing might happen.

My thoughts never stop. My mind is currently working and creating “What if” sentences. I can’t make it stop. I can’t make it stop, because if I don’t think about it, I will be afraid and the thing might happen.

At times it gets worse and I become really afraid. I won’t be able to function like a normal human being, I might escape or try to interact with you, I might talk a lot or not at all, I might sit still or walk around trying to breathe, I might tell you what’s going on, but most of the time I won’t.

I have to get through this and I most probably will get through this, but I never know for sure if I really will.

Sometimes I want to give up, I don’t want to exist anymore or I want to die, because then the thing won’t ever happen again.

Sometimes I just want to hide, forever. I want to find an option to make sure this thing won’t ever happen, at all costs.

Sometimes I just want this fear to go away, because I would like to do something randomly and not think about the same thing all the time, sometimes I just want to know how a normal life feels.

Please, I beg you to never ever ever play down someone’s fears or to even make fun of them. If you’ve never felt like that before, you won’t be able to understand, no matter how hard you try. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Try to find out what comforts the person, what lowers their fear and what you can do to help them a little. Even if it’s just talking random stuff or sitting across the room; the best you can do is to respect the persons fear and to try to minimize the harm they do to themselves, mentally and/or physically. 

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