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Mental health problems


Lars (49) lives with anxiety and depression. - I am not one of the successful ones who comes forward with my story; I'm still ill, he says. 

Image: by Ye Jinghan on Unsplash 


How it feels to have anxiety and depression

Lars openly talks about the mental disorders in the article to, and says that he has been admitted to a psychiatric ward several times as a result of the difficulties. 

He gives some very good descriptions of how anxiety and depression can be experienced:

Anxiety is like a mental prison. I feel myself completely locked in, with no opportunity to get out. It becomes difficult to do things, and I spend all my energy on the disease. The last thing I think about before I fall asleep, and the first thing I think about after I wake up is: Anxiety, are you there? Can I manage this day?

Depression feels like a dark shadow that spreads all over the body, he adds.

Imagine the grief after the death of the loved one in your life. This is how a depression feels, only that the condition never changes. Everything becomes heavy, sad and difficult. The tears come all the time. You can't do anything. Even opening the fridge door can be completely impossible on some days.


Living close to someone who has depression

Lars goes on to tell Aftenbladet about how the mental disorders can vary in severity over time. The descriptions above are how it feels during the difficult periods.

Then the mental disorders also affect the family to a great extent.

As I got married, Signe became the only safe spot for me, and I was around her all the time. This became incredibly tiring for her. Therefore, I lived for periods at home with my parents, so that Signe and my children would have a respite. During the heaviest periods, my wife thought it felt like there was a dark cloud all over the house, says Lars.


The healing effects of exercise

Fortunately, it is not at its worst all the time. Lars also talks about good periods. At the same time, the anxiety and depression are not completely gone then either.

Now my shape is better, but when I am outside I often pretend that I am healthier than I actually am.

He has learned to use physical activity as self-help in the face of problems. And the joy of running has led him to complete several marathons, while his good physical shape has given him better self-confidence. 

Now he calls for a greater focus on physical activity within the mental health care.

Psychiatry relies too much on medication. I believe that my stubbornness, combined with exercise and medication, is what allows me to function in society. I do not understand why psychiatry takes physical exercise so lightly. I am convinced that more people could have been healthier if they had been offered training, he says.



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