Coping with a mental disorder

16 June 2019 | Columns

Julienne van Rooyen

I always try to write from the heart, even though my writing has gotten me into trouble at times. What I believe is that it if my story manages to touch somebody and makes them feel connected in some or other way, then it will always be worth it in the end.

We try hard to fit in and be “normal” and it’s refreshing to have someone that isn’t afraid to be honest, without fear of standing out or being different. This especially relates to speaking about mental disorders such as depression, anxiety or any other subject that may appear to be taboo.

So here I am at 36-years old, realizing that I am far from perfect and that I too have a mental disorder. It took me a while to figure out that I am not just shy, but have something that actually has a fancy name attached to it. It’s called Social Anxiety Disorder.

Thanks to the ever trusty Google and all the information it can supply in an instant, I now understand that I am not the only person on earth with such a phobia. I may also not be the only person who might be feeling this way.

It’s something I don’t really wish upon anyone and it affects a person’s life in every way you can possibly imagine. I have never heard of anyone ever talk about this disorder and you won’t notice that they may have it by just by looking at someone.

A person with this disorder appears to be hostile or unfriendly, when in fact it’s the complete opposite and all we would love is fit in. Simple things such as meeting new people or going to a social gathering become so stressful, that a person will actually start worrying about it for weeks in advance.

Imagine being afraid of people. We have to live and work with and are surrounded by people every single day. It also has a major influence on your career; what would your potential employer have told you if you said that you were terrified of people in an interview?

I know that it’s irrational, but the fear is just like any other phobia and for someone living with it, it feels very real.

Luckily there are measures to take in the form of medication and therapy. My best form of therapy remains putting pen to paper, or in this case getting out my trusty laptop and typing my story.

What also helps me cope is the fact that I have a great husband and amazing children as well as our family dog. I can completely rely on them when dealing with my disorder. They accept and love the true me unconditionally, with all my strange and occasionally funny quirks and imperfections.

This gets me thinking about all the people who don’t necessarily have the support they need or are just too scared to talk about their mental disorders for fear of rejection or being judged.

Today I give you a secret high five as a sign of my support if you are suffering from a mental disorder. My wish for the future is that we can completely get rid of the stigma attached to mental disorders. We should feel free to talk about these issues, always keeping in mind that nobody is perfect or “normal” even though we all like to pretend we are.

Similar News


Join us on our digital journey

3 weeks ago - 25 August 2019 | Columns

Gerine Hoff What you're holding in your hands right now – this collaborative Windhoek Express/Erongo newspaper – is our last printed edition.While we're a little...

The evolution of change

4 weeks ago - 18 August 2019 | Columns

Leandrea Louw Change is scary and as humans we're not very adaptable when it comes to change. Yet everything around us is constantly evolving,...

We live and we learn

1 month - 11 August 2019 | Columns

Iréne-Mari van der WaltThe great irony attached to most social movements of the 21st century is that, despite being aimed at pushing and broadening labels...

Out of reach

1 month - 04 August 2019 | Columns

Otis FinckAs the housing waiting lists keep on growing, prices for a place to live and call your own continue to skyrocket. The prospect of...

Penny wise and pound foolish

1 month - 28 July 2019 | Columns

Gerine Hoff While the renaming of streets in the capital continues un­abated – one would swear the City of Windhoek has spare change lying around...

The benefits of sport

1 month - 21 July 2019 | Columns

Adolf KaureI have practiced a number of sport codes including karate, golf, chess, soccer, tennis, table tennis and boxing over the years.There are a lot...

Life's simplest secret

2 months ago - 14 July 2019 | Columns

Irene-Mari van der Walt Advice on how to live a fulfilled life abound and are often pondered by both the self-righteous and the truly...

Learning the lingo

2 months ago - 07 July 2019 | Columns

Gerine HoffWorking in the written word industry, I was thrilled to see that Merriam-Webster has added more than 600 new words to their dictionary this...

Fight for financial freedom

2 months ago - 30 June 2019 | Columns

Adolf KaureThe Namibian economy is currently in a recession and it is a reflection of what is going on all over the world.Many graduates are...

Take care of yourself

2 months ago - 23 June 2019 | Columns

Leandrea LouwIt’s the middle of the year, and by now a lot of us feel overwhelmed, overworked, depressed and stressed.I found myself in that exact...

Latest News

Lewcor buys Elizabeth Bay Mine

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Business

Namdeb today announced that it sold its Elizabeth Bay Mine and associated marine assets as a going concern to a member of the Lewcor Group,...

New owner for Bytes Technology

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Business

Altron Rest of Africa (Altron ROA), a division of JSE-listed technology company Altron, announced the sale of a minority stake in its subsidiary, Bytes Technology...

Hey millennials, listen up!

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Economics

About 30 years ago, purchasing property was a no-brainer. However, millennials have been taught to question everything, including whether real estate is the best investment...

This boy is on fire

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Sports

Yolanda Nel With two older brothers that are well-known in the spinning community, it is no wonder their younger brother is following in their footsteps....

Going for gold

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Banking

Last night, Bank Windhoek launched their Selekt Gold offering with the aim of providing the market with a relevant, holistic financial solution.The Selekt Gold offering...

Barok uit die boonste rakke

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Art and Entertainment

’n Orrelkonsert met die musiek van Bach, Handel en Corelli is Vrydag, 27 September in die Christuskirche te hoor, wanneer die Suid-Afrikaanse konsertorrelis en vakkundige...

The world is your (shopping)...

4 days ago - 11 September 2019 | Business

After introducing the DHL Africa eShop app in April this year, it is now also available in Namibia.Since its launch, the app has seen its...

Think pink!

4 days ago - 11 September 2019 | Health

Breast and cervical cancers remain a serious concern in Namibia, with 2 474 cases of breast cancer that have been reported to the National Cancer...

Commemorate together

4 days ago - 11 September 2019 | Health

World Lymphoma Awareness Day is commemorated on 15 September every year and is dedicated to raising awareness of lymphoma, an increasingly common form of cancer....

Load More