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

1 year - 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

1 year - 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 year - 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 year - 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 year - 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 year - 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

1 year - 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

1 year - 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

1 year - 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

1 year - 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

Gender ministry visits Omaheke

2 hours ago | Government

Deputy minister of gender equality, poverty eradication and social welfare, Bernadette Jagger, yesterday paid a courtesy call on Omaheke governor Pijoo Nganate as part of...

Power for Otjomuise ext. 6

3 hours ago | Infrastructure

The City of Windhoek (CoW) officially switched on electricity for the Otjomuise Extension Six informal settlement as part of its development obligations to supply electricity...

Air Nam flights set to...

4 hours ago | Transport

Air Namibia announced the resumption of flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town, starting on 28 October 2020.According to a media statement, the Windhoek – Johannesburg...

Poverty fuels skin disease

4 hours ago | Health

Windhoek • [email protected] unidentified skin disease that hit a San community near Rundu over the past few months, has been identified as part of a...

Happy housing beneficiaries

1 day - 19 October 2020 | Infrastructure

The City of Windhoek (CoW) handed over completed affordable houses to eight beneficiaries at Goreangab in the Samora Machel Constituency on Friday.These houses are part...

Court investigators boost child support...

1 day - 19 October 2020 | Local News

Windhoek • [email protected] landmark appointment last year of ten maintenance investigators to nine magistrate courts to boost child support cases, has yielded positive results with...

Covid-19 spurs school sanitation

1 day - 19 October 2020 | Infrastructure

Windhoek • [email protected] accelerated provision of water and toilets to schools over the past seven months offers a much-needed reprieve from the relentless blitz of...

NWR undertakes voluntary retrenchments

2 days ago - 18 October 2020 | Business

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) announced that it has began a voluntary separation exercise to align its staff numbers in light of the impact that Covid-19...

FlyWestair recommences commercial flights

4 days ago - 16 October 2020 | Transport

FlyWestair announced the take-off of their first scheduled passenger flight between Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport and Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport, starting on Monday,...

Load More