The path to increased awareness started for me in 2004. I had been on the edge for so long that I tried to take my own life. You have to understand that when you find yourself in such a chaotic state of mind, when you decide to commit suicide it suddenly gets very quiet, and calm. I can still from time to time remember the peace that I found when I made that decision.

no-man’s land


Your choice!

When I finally realised that that was not the way to deal with depression, I found myself in a sort of no-man’s land, a void where I could not see any way forward. In the first instance, I threw myself into work because it was the only place I had success and control. In exchange, I was depressed in my free time while I was waiting to see a psychiatrist. It was during this time that my brother mentioned taking up running as a possible solution. Something rang a bell inside me when I heard this suggestion because suicide is an attempt to escape. You feel like running screaming away from your life, and from yourself. With running, I suddenly saw the opportunity to do just that. However, I would naturally choose a route that would bring me back home again.


I was given antidepressants to help me sleep. And after ½ a year I finally got to see a psychiatrist, who also was a cognitive therapist. The first thing that she taught me was to take a bird’s eye view of my inner chaos. I learnt to analyse the situation and to separate things out into thoughts, feelings, body and behaviour. And I learnt to question the absolutes. Like, is it really true that I am a terrible mother? Am I sure that it wasn’t just today that I couldn’t find the right resources and energy reserves? And that I can try again tomorrow? That strategy is one that my partner and I still use a lot when the stupid thoughts start building up.

I made the decision to stop taking the pills when I started in therapy. I had a guilty conscience over taking them. I felt out of sorts and I didn’t want to refrain from beer or sex. However, during my recent difficult depression I decided to take the pills again. Because during this that time I could run 18 km during one run and still not feel better. And I could see that I had neither the time, nor the physique to be able to run until I felt better. The psychiatrist has been great at allowing me to accept the pills, and she gave me some advice: Don’t read the side effects. She just told me about them, and I have since happily forgotten what they were.

talk talk talk

Søren: “We have been good at talking to one another and at giving each other time and space. The family has to be a part of the process, the way out of the depression. As a partner, you have to be prepared to invest and believe in the relationship. However, you need commitment from both parties for it to work. Being in a relationship with a depressed person feels like having another child. You have to be the adult for the other adult, and also for the children. It’s hard to get everything done as the only adult in a family.
I think support is missing for the next of kin. Like the type of support that is available to family members of alcoholics. Many couples and families could be helped, if you as the husband or wife of the depressed person could call the psychiatrist and say, “I don’t understand her right now” or “What do I do now?” To help your children you need help to talk about the problems, to see the situation from a child’s perspective. It’s never easy but it’s especially hard if you have a child that finds it hard to use words to describe how they’re feeling.”

What works for you and your family?



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