What did you learn about depression

depression

Sophie Schäfer

I am Sophie Schäfer, born in 1993 and have suffered from depression since 2007. It all started when I was around 14 years old. At that time I often felt not only sad, but also in a way "empty" and misunderstood. I cried a lot for no reason and I didn't know why.

The diagnosis itself wasn't really shocking to me. It was just a kind of determination in the sense that I didn't think of the whole thing anymore
Perceived confusion, but could call it depression.

One reason was that I lost my birth mother very early when I was very young. And that also made me fearful of loss. On the other hand, it turned out that there are also genetic aspects. And this genetic background ensures that I will have the disease my whole life.

When I was 18, I started taking medication when I first went to the therapist. More or less continuously until today. The group therapy lasted a little longer than a year. This is how I realized how important it is to see how others are coping with it. In order to then look for something that could be a solution for yourself. And that's how I started jogging - often in bad phases. It gives such an amazing feeling of freedom when I go jogging. I can shake off these thoughts with every step. It's just an indescribable feeling!

Meanwhile, I feel much better with my depression. It is that I am much more solid in my life. I know the medication will support me. But I also know what I can do myself if I fall into such a hole again. And so I taught myself certain breathing exercises. Breathe in very deeply - hold - breathe out. And it is precisely this exhalation that calms you down inside.

In particularly stressful phases, it is often the case that I cannot sleep. The thoughts circle: "would-would-if" - situations are mentally acted out. And I only really relax when I turn on an audio book. And as soon as I hear that and concentrate fully on the story, I usually fall asleep within minutes.

It used to be that when times were bad I always had my knitting with me in a small bag. And when it was particularly stressful for me, I would sit down somewhere, take out my knitting and knit a round. Concentrating on it - it just has a calming effect. I can switch off everything around me and thus also limit the stress. One result of "knitting on the go" is my patchwork blanket. This blanket also allows me to get a little closer to my birth mother, because there is actually still a small piece of leftover wool that I inherited from her at the time. And I have immortalized that in this blanket!

I'm moving to a new city soon. That also makes my carousel of thoughts turn a little faster again. And that makes it a bit difficult, but I try to see the positive in it. It is now the case that in a certain way I am stronger than the disease. Just having this knowledge in the back of your mind and being able to deal with it is an enormous stabilizing factor.

Knowledge is healthy.

Simone Klein

My name is Simone Klein and my husband Sascha was diagnosed with depression in 2016. He was aggressive very quickly, you couldn't get to him at all. It was locked. On the other hand, he was in a good mood again and the next moment sad. We couldn't do anything with it.

We had an extreme marital crisis. I definitely wanted to move out. Because it was enough for me. At some point that was too much for me. The screaming and the hostility, I would assume that he was not normal, that he had a "shot". And then I said, “I didn't say you were stupid or you had a blast. Something is not right. Go to the doctor and get examined! "

I thought he was dissatisfied with his life. That happens quite often at a certain age. Until the diagnosis came ...

For me it was just important to know what was going on! When I knew he was sick and you can help him and you have to be there for him, it was easier for me. We had something tangible where we knew what to work with. We knew he wasn't fundamentally evil, he was not fundamentally aggressive. There is a disease that makes him so.

He then decided to go into inpatient therapy because I also said: "Get away from home with all the problems, the anger and the stress."

Every time he went to the doctor and had conversations there, I sat down with him and said, “Would you like to talk about it?” And then he usually talked to me. And that also meant I knew how to deal with it better. I knew how to tackle him - which helped me a lot.

In principle, we are always sitting on a powder keg, if I can put it that way. You never know: Will the good phase that lasts for a long time last? Or is something coming back? If something negative happens, e.g. a high bill that has to be paid, or it doesn't work at work or the car breaks down - you never know: will he snap again?

You can tell when the mood is bad. When he's in a bad mood, you can see us all disappearing into different rooms. The children then sit in their rooms and listen to music. I go over to the bedroom, iron or do something. And at some point I'll come out and it's like nothing ever happened. We have learned to deal with it.

We're just honest with each other. Despite the illness and despite the fear that he might get angry then, we also tell him: "Do you think you can make big arms here just because you have one on the waffle?" Then he laughs himself up! You need a certain amount of humor in order to be able to process the whole thing and to show your counterpart that it is nothing bad. It's just there and I'll help you where I can.

What helps me a lot: I talk to my friends. We often go for a Kölsch after work and that distracts me. I have found affected relatives in my environment and circle of friends. Often by chance, because nobody likes to talk about it openly. Even if every case is different, if every person is different, you can see as relatives: You are not alone, there are other people and maybe everyone has a little something like that
a little advice or a tip on how to deal with it - where you can get something.
I also have great children with whom I do a lot. And when I go running, I don't think too much about anything. Then I just see that my breathing is right, that my legs are working. That helps a lot. You will come home relaxed and with a pure brain.

I worry about him, but I also have to think about myself. Since this is where I practically bring most of the money home with me. He lost his job due to the illness and then I basically had to grab everything. I have two jobs and am now the lead lion in the family. He still thinks it's him, but he's not. I let him believe - then he is happy too. But in principle it's me.

Because I know that he is sick and that there is basically nothing we can do about it except with talk therapy and pills. He's not terminally ill either. He is what he is. In spite of everything, he's still the Sascha I married. And I have to somehow lure it out and that actually makes me so relaxed!

Knowledge is healthy.


Heike Demke

I am Heike Demke, born in 1960 and have been suffering from depression for 10 years. When I was diagnosed, I was actually released. Because I knew: now there is a diagnosis that I will accept. I was afraid of how others would deal with it, no question about it. But I knew there she was and yes, I have to be able to deal with it, alone.

It started with anxiety in the dark. That I could only sleep with the light on. That I was very restless, that I was afraid of missing out. And that I was afraid of myself.

It's like a switch that clicks. But you can't make it back again. It just happens in the head. But I couldn't control it. That was the bad thing about this "not being able to rule over yourself". That was an insane danger. I knew I had to do something, I had to get out of there!

I had to bring myself to seek professional help. Because it was always said: "Aha, you go to the soul plumber or the mad doctor." And that was really hard for me!

It's very, very hard to even find a good therapist to open up to. And so a few years passed before I finally found a clinic. I was hoping that they would practically just toggle the switch for me and I'll be cured! But it's just a company that they give and all I can do is change something. I have to completely change my life, change my attitude.

Then I moved a lot. At least 10 times because I was just looking for a home. And then I came across a psychologist who said, “Go back to the point where you were happiest.” And that's what I did. Within 2 weeks, the things were packed and moved. And I knew immediately: That it is! She was right. And that really was my salvation.

Changing everyday life was difficult. Learn serenity. Do a lot just for me. Think of me! Just see my needs and not those of others! For example, "When does someone need me?" or "Where do I have to be now?" I've already learned a little about that. I can't always do that. But say no more and more often! And I got myself from people
distant, those who hurt me and who do me no good.

Then I knew I needed someone who was also there for me. And then I bought my little Anton, my dog, who would be too
Fate has. I help him - he helps me!

Now I deal with it openly because I just don't want to hide it anymore. I think a lot of people don't like to say that they used to feel bad. Or that they also slipped into a depressive phase. But I think it's important - for me it is
important! My closest friends know it and were also happy and said to me: "You finally told us!" And I said: "Yes, I couldn't do it before, I was scared!" But now I really stand by it and say " It is so."

I'm back in the theater Abo with a friend, because it's just good. Out again, with people, even if it is difficult for me sometimes, but I go out.

I am writing my life down now. Of course, that's not always easy.
You come back to this world that you actually left. It's not always tearless either, but I find it very nice to cope with everything. And it should be for me.

Today I am happy. I am back in my life. I am of course not cured. But I am stable. Even if the phases still come in between, I know I can get through it. I have to do it. Because we really only have this one life!

Knowledge is healthy.

Gulnara Schrader

I am Gulnara Schrader. I was born in 1970 and have been suffering from depression since 2012.

I could hide in bed for days and do nothing. The diagnosis shocked me very much. Because that is not an "easy" diagnosis, so to speak. I've never had it, and it has never happened in my family. That's why it was very bad for me.

I married a German man in 2010. And we moved to Germany with my son from Kazakhstan in the same year. The first two years of our marriage were good. But then the argument started. And yes, there was also violence in the end. So that's when my husband hit me. I believe that this situation made my depression much worse. Naturally. Yes...

And my husband's behavior actually led to this depression too. The phases of depression keep coming back. And they are really bad when I have any serious problems. For example: I am a single parent and I have to look after my children alone. I have to organize everything myself. But other things too. These are those bureaucratic things, e.g. if some authorities want some forms to be filled out. I'm supposed to send proofs and things like that. Then my head becomes "full" and I think: what's next?

At the beginning of 2018 I felt very bad. So really bad, so I had to get help. Because I thought I couldn't handle myself anymore. I volunteered at the psychiatric clinic. And the behavior therapy that I did there, inpatient at the hospital, which helped me a lot to deal with my problems better. That the "problems" are really not as bad as they seem to me.

And that's why I'm doing it now so that I regulate everything step by step. Step by step. I write everything on a piece of paper. And when something is done, I cancel it. And then I am happy that a problem is gone and I move on.

So that I can cope better with my depression, I do things that I really enjoy doing. I like to sew. I go to the gym regularly. This is very good for me because it distracts me from bad thoughts. And I spend a lot of time with my kids. Having a young child is really very positive for me. Because I can't just hide in bed alone and stay there for a long time. My little one gives me momentum! She helps me, so a kind of help.

Sometimes I fear that I might end up in an episode again. But then I push these thoughts away! Just get out of your head!

I'm fine at the moment, I can say. I learned a lot. And I still learn a lot where I can help myself. I am of the opinion that you can make yourself healthy with your own strength. With medical help, of course. But you can only be completely healthy if you want to.

If you want it yourself!

Knowledge is healthy


Jochen Schulze

My name is Jochen Schulze, my daughter Anna was born in 1990. She was diagnosed with depression in 2005.

It influenced my life a lot at the beginning. I was always afraid of doing something wrong. I initially wrapped them in cotton wool. I was scared at every word. She has had the most severe depression. She cut herself. She had suicidal thoughts.

And to that extent, I've basically done everything wrong. Before she was diagnosed with depression, it was noticeable to me in retrospect that she had withdrawn and curled up. That was also like a shock! You have to say how it is!

I probably behaved completely irrationally in the first few months. Besides being able to say: Get into therapy! Do and do something! I couldn't think of anything else.

My daughter then did outpatient therapy for about 4 weeks. And then 3 months inpatient. And as part of the therapy, we got closer again.

You wonder if you failed as a father? Nor do I want to deny that I was certainly depressed for weeks too. Because I think that 90% of the relatives are in any case completely overwhelmed with themselves and such situations. Relatives who are very close and intimate with the people should at least receive brochures or information. Or even an accompanying therapy.

I was all on my own, had to read myself. I bought specialist books. I read online. And would have liked to have had this knowledge a little earlier. Then I would have acted differently from the start.

With regard to Anna, it has now become clear to me that I take her problems, however marginal and tiny, seriously and address them.

I also found it hard that she didn't want to talk about it. But over time I had to accept that. Because it has to come from her. I can't press her.

From the conversations it became clear that the situation at home with my ex-wife's new partner was unsatisfactory for her. She felt he was a foreign body. And I thought about it and then pushed her to move into her own apartment. And that worked wonderfully.

Today I would say that it has gradually become more stable from year to year. Of course she still has a few problems, but she also learned to deal with them.

Since she has been more open with other people and no longer makes a secret of it, she has also become more self-confident. Depression is no longer the focus. It is no longer an issue. Unless Anna wants to talk about it.

Otherwise, I'll tell her the truth. Even knowing that you are hurting her.
But she knows me very well, knows how to deal with it and how to react to it. My daughter's depression ultimately welded us closer together. This also means that we have spent a lot of time together for 6 to 7 years.
We talk on the phone and are in daily contact. We often travel as far as your time or my wallet allows.

I would advise other relatives of depression sufferers to really seek help if they can. Because you will inevitably get depressed, I simply claim. I don't know whether there are now self-help groups for relatives.At the very least, it would be wise to talk to people. Professionally or with other relatives who have recently been through such a phase.

Knowledge is healthy.

Consultation hours patient and doctor - Depression

How important is it to get professional help?

In the beginning it was a bit of an effort for me to even ask for help.

It was always said that one would go to a shrink or a mad doctor. And that was really tough for me! Do i do that? Or am I not doing that?

It really got to the point that I decided to do something. And through the university clinic. And asked my father to take me there. There I came across a doctor who immediately recognized what was wrong with me.

You can get this help. You're not crazy and you're not stupid either! And you don't disappear from the world either.

I said to myself that it would be better to find myself for six months now, to work with and on myself, than to postpone the problems for the rest of my life.

How quickly were you able to start therapy?

I actually waited 3 months for my first appointment. However, I was already told on the phone that in an acute case or if I have suicidal thoughts or something similar, then I should contact you immediately. Then there are definitely other solutions.

These waiting times were of course bad! I needed the help now. And not sometime in two or three months. But now!

The waiting time is infinitely long. Unless you have a car and then drive up to 50 km. But you can't do that. When you get out of therapy, you're just done. And then drive a car? That wouldn't have been an option for me.

What is the most important requirement for a successful therapy?

I got on really well with my first therapist. Unfortunately, she then retired. And then again to find someone I can trust straight away, that wasn't that easy at all. Then one hears: "No, you better not go to the therapist, you better look elsewhere."

Back then, before I went to the day clinic, I found out about clinics, the stay and their methods. And I really only read horror stories on the Internet, so I was afraid to even get involved. In retrospect I - thank God - put it down and got involved. Otherwise I wouldn't be sitting here like this today!

It is very difficult to find a good therapist at all, where you can open up, who also understand you or who also understand life.

I actually went to another city on a regular basis to find a therapist I could trust.

How useful are internet and in-house research?

One should refrain from relying on the advice of fellow patients in forums and patient groups. Because there are specialists and not fellow patients. Because they are just as bad or worse off than you are at the moment.

Researching online can be positive in the sense that it can help you find solutions. On the other hand, they can also quickly cause panic by diagnosing worse than you actually have.

Yes, you have to be careful if some unknown pages write any nonsense and that's not true.

If someone says: "I'll take 150 euros an hour, but I can help you!"

It is very important not to rely on just one source. Because sources can sometimes be very one-sided. And to find out more and look at several sources is very important, I think.

Knowledge is healthy.