An interview with Markus about his life with depression
How did you notice that something is wrong?
At first I was not aware of it. I realized that I was fleeing in a difficult phase into an illusory world. I gave quick answers, so my counterpart would also be quiet and leave me alone. For years this has worked out well, even when people I trust warned me when they found out my lies.
I didn’t know what to do with my lethargy, reluctance and withdrawal until my boss took me aside and asked the right questions. Only then I was more aware of that a lot is not ok and I – against all prejudices – should go to a psychologist. That was the beginning.
How did you feel when you got the diagnosis ‘depression’?
It took a while. In my first ambulant therapy it was focused on the problematic relationship with my parents but not with a solid diagnosis. When I moved away I also changed the therapist. My symptoms had worsened.
I had built up such a big worldof lies
that I didn’t know how to proceed and
suicidal thoughts have crept into my life.
The first diagnosis? Manic depressive. Pills during the day to keep my mood on a normal level, in the evening to sleep. The more I watched for a diagnosis, the worse I felt.
A mood diary then showed everything on the paper. I discontinued the therapy after a second and third disease was contemplated. It took years until I finally had the courage to wanting to do anything at all. In the meantime I met my partner who triggered a lot inside me and supported me.
I then decided on short notice to go to the clinic. I wanted to have a proper diagnosis. The “child” needed a name that I could deal with.
How did you deal with it?
How to deal with a diagnosis? At the very beginning I was struggling. In between I needed the diagnosis as security. Today a diagnosis is an informal term. Just like the ICD code for health insurances. There is not “the depression”. There are always other accompanying symptoms.
What has changed in your life?
A lot. Over the past 4 years I have overcome most of the depressive phases. I currently have no suicidal thoughts.
More important is the fact that I understand
what is good for me, what the negative thoughts triggers and
where the incorrect sectors in my hard drive are.
I have learned that the majority goes only by acceptance. I have put things straight that I couldn’t do before. Financial problems, unemployment, lies that resulted from the depressive episodes. Today those are the very things I am happy to take care of.
I am happy to have work that fulfills me. I like to take care of my finances and my mail. I still have the partner who was so important and am the father of a wonderful boy.
How are you doing now with your depression?
Basically well. It’s sometimes there, sometimes not. My feelings change like the weather. The important thing is that I don’t work against them, but let it happen on those days.
Are there sometimes still days/situations in which it is difficult for you?
Yes, definitely. I think it is not quickly “curable”. I’ve learned to live with the depression.
And sometimes there are those moments when
everything seems to be too difficult,
it crushes and paralyzes you.
Then all the thoughts come back that have eaten me up for years and want to do it again. Today I am decisive step further, I let them happen to a certain point and then take care of me. Thoughts come and go. And those thoughts are fortunately often not the truth!
Has your view on life changed?
Yes. I had always been an emotional person. Because of the years when I had suicidal thoughts, I enjoy every day now more than ever. Every day has something positive. My life is worth living that is the decisive turn.
On your blog you share your experiences with others, what is the goal of your blog?
I started the blog because I wanted to tell (my story). I wanted to use a pseudonym – today it’s my real name – wanted to say all that openly, which was not possible in real life.
I wanted to keep a diary and I provide the general public.
I wanted to be able to check for myself.
It was supposed to be my place where I can talk casually. I wanted to talk freely so that I wouldn’t have to use any friendly flower writing styles, but simply released.
Something that is shit should be shit and should be called shit.
The positive side effect? Other patients and their relatives can read along. You have someone who may have experienced exactly what they are experiencing themselves. The goal is still defined.
Long story short: I write for myself and show others that it doesn’t have to hurt to talk about it.
What feedback do you get for your blog?
First of all: I am spared of any shitstorm and stupid comments. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. There is praise, friendly criticism, own life stories, many thank you’s, short and long messages, now two wonderful contacts and so on.
Over the time there was a lot of feedback, but there wasn’t any negative.
Even for me it’s always nice when people feel connected and no longer have to be alone