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

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, 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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mental health awareness

Real Anxiety

How my anxiety affected me producing a short film about anxiety

I have struggled with social anxiety since I was in kindergarten.
Now I’m 18 and still struggling.
But things have changed.

Now I’m able to speak up and raise awareness about what I and a thousand others suffer from.

Therefor I decided to produce a short film about anxiety for my 2-year-school-project.
Well, being in front of the camera I recognized I’m even more uncomfortable than I want it to seem in the video.

Most of the anxiety scenes in the short film are staged, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t anxious doing all this.
A whole bunch of the raw material is just me awkwardly talking to the person behind the camera, jumping up and down doing weird stuff with my hands and not being able to think because of the panic in my head.
I have more than 1 hour of material that doesn’t show anything besides me sitting on my bed dissociating and staring at the ceiling the whole time.

But none of this is included in the short film.
It’s raw, it’s real, it’s personal and it’s embarrasing to look at. I look horrible, I do not have any control and I’m an open book. I’m hurtable.

BUT THESE SCENES ARE THE MOST REAL ONES. I want the world to recognize the ugliness of anxiety attacks, I want the people to keep an eye on their family and friends, I want them to know the signs.

Continue reading

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mental health awareness

A regular school day with anxiety

5:30 am
Ring ring.
My alarm clock. Oh no, please no. How long have I slept? About 2 hours? Or less?
How am I feeling? Am I sick? Am I gonna get sick? Why did I have to wake up. I’m so tired. I just want to sleep. What if something’s gonna happen today? I do not have the energy to deal with anything. Can’t I just stay in bed, I’m never gonna graduate anyways. I won’t ever get a job. Am I just lazy? I can’t. I just want it to be evening already, so I can sleep.

6:30 am
Did I really stare at the ceiling for 1 hour already? I need to catch my bus today or else I’m gonna miss so much because I’m too afraid to walk in late. But I’m not ready. I’m sooo tired. I can’t move. Why can’t I even get out of bed, it’s not that hard. I’m a fucking failure.

7:00 am
My bus is here in 15 mins and I’m still in bed. I’m gonna look like a zombie and I won’t have the right materials in my bag. I NEED TO GET UP NOW. Only 9 more hours until I’m home again. 9 fucking hours. Damn. GET UP NOW YOU DUMB FUCK.

7:16 am
Oh is that the right bus? What if it isn’t? Am I halluzinating? Do I stand in the right place? Don’t move to fast or everybody will stare at you. Don’t walk too far right, the busdriver is gonna think you’re too dumb to get into a bus. Oh no everybody’s gonna think you want to punch them to get in first. Well, now I’m the last one. Please let me get a free seat, I’m unable to stay on my feet the whole ride, I absolutely do not have the energy to do that. Oh god where is a seat, I take too long, everybody is staring at me, they think I’m too dumb and too slow. Just sit down somewhere, anywhere. What if that person doesn’t want me to sit there? Am I taking up too much space? How the fuck am I supposed to survive this?

7:45 am
Oh please let this be the right room, don’t let me be the last one. No why am I the first one, what if it’s the wrong room, I won’t get in first, I’m not able to talk to the teacher, I’ll just wait here until someone goes in first. What are they gonna think of me, like “is she too dumb to see that the door is already open” or “why doesn’t she go in”. I can’t do this. I want to go home. I need to get out of here. I’m trapped. I’m gonna die.

During class
Am I sitting weird? Is there something on my back or something wrong with my hair? Please eyes stay open. Okay I need to listen. I need to study. Oh god I’m so silly, I won’t ever graduate, I won’t ever get a job I like, I could die by now, it would be totally okay, I’m never gonna achieve the things I dreamed of. I’m so tired. Why can’t I focus? Stop thinking. Listen. Read that fucking text. Why can’t I identify the letters, please eyes, all I want you to do is focus on the letters. I’m holding my pen in a weird way. Oh god someone’s laughing, they’re talking about me. The teacher probably hates me and thinks I’m dumb as fuck. Please don’t call on me, no please no, my brain doesn’t work, I can’t answer. I need to look away. FUCKING EYECONTACT. This is too much. I need to get out. I’m always making a fool out of myself. WHY am I so dumb. I want to die.

After class
I’m so sorry, ex teacher, I wanted to say hello, too, but I’m too shy. I’m not rude, I’m sorry for not saying anything. Please don’t hate me. I don’t want to come back to this place ever again. Am I walking weird? Is there something wrong with my face? Oh god everybody’s looking at me, talking and laughing about me. My friends are probably lying and don’t even like me. How could anyone ever like me? I would never wanna be friends with myself. I need to get out. I wanna go home. I wanna sleep. I’m so tired and everything hurts.

At home
I’ve been sitting on my bed and staring at the wall for like 2 hours, I really need to do my homework. I have to study, I have to get good grades or I’ll never be able to get the job I want. Oh what the fuck am I thinking, I won’t ever graduate, I’m gonna end up homeless under a bridge if I’m still alive by this time. Do your fucking homework or you’ll regret it later. It’s not that exhausting to get on your desk, it’s literally two steps away, get up and start. Damn you’re so dumb. MOVE! Everything hurts, I’m so tired, I want to do my homework but I want to sleep, I want this to end, I can’t carry on, I’m too weak.

In the evening
Well, I haven’t done a single thing. I hate myself. I won’t ever get a job. I’m a zombie, a snob. All I did was sitting on my bed for hours doing nothing, like every day, and I’m still soo tired. I want to sleep. Forever.

In bed
Oh god I did everything wrong, I dissappointed so many people. Doing stuff is so easy and I’m still too dumb for it. Everybody I know is able to do that shit, so I am, too. I’m just lazy as fuck. I want to sleep. Dear mind, please stop overthinking. No that thing I did 5 years ago is so embarrasing, someone kill me please. I’m not gonna get any sleep today. Tomorrow’s gonna be even more horrible than today. If this is what my life is gonna look like I don’t want it. I’m such a loser. Everybody can handle life, everybody but me.

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