No more hiding… We have not been lying to you, certainly not, but it’s not easy to admit that you have a mental disease or disorder. The major reason why we have barely mentioned our disorders is the stigma, the taboo, the prejudices, …
This will change from now on. Look in the sidebar and you will see that we have written a welcome word where we simply admit it: we are a middle-aged couple, each with a mental disorder. Something like The Odd Couple … Anyway, you will see a link to a page where we discuss in detail each disorder. We ask you kindly to read this, you will better understand us!
Lars has been suffering from major depression since his teenage years. Right now, he feels quite well, but there can be bad days. And luckily, you can consult psychiatrists for free here in Spain and medication only costs a couple of euros.
Me, that’s a completely different story. I had been struggling with depression since 2014 and it never seemed to stop. My psychiatrist was convinced that some other disorder was triggering my depression. So, she sent me to a psychiatric hospital. That was in March 2018.
I am not going to say much about the hospital. It was a sad place; I have seen things that I frankly never want to see again. But after 5 weeks of tests, my 2 psychiatrists and 2 psychologists all came to the same conclusion: I suffer from ASD, new term for Asperger’s syndrome. So, I am an aspie.
My initial reaction was one of shock, but all the tests pointed into the same direction. All but one: the infamous Rorschach test, the one where you have to interpret spots on a card. Here the psychologist decided that I have a very impressive imagination!
After some time, the diagnosis started to make sense. I had always been the odd one, the weird one. I always talked differently, behaved differently, thought differently, … And that’s because my brain is wired differently. Moreover, since this year, I have completely embraced my disorder. My depression is a side effect, not the source of my ASD. And it’s also the result of years of verbal and mental abuse by my parents.
Really? That is the thing you say when someone suffers from depression? Granted, it’s a mood disorder, but also a sign that something is wrong with your brain chemistry. It’s certainly not the case that Lars sits in a corner all day, crying… But he needs a lot more than just “cheering up”.
For me, again it’s more complicated. We aspies have to deal with a lot more prejudices. Read about it in our Mental Health section.
By the way, just like Lars, I can have bad days too. But lately, I have noticed that I feel bad not just because of my ASD, but because of the way NT’s treat me.
Can you lead a normal life?
Let’s start with a remark: normal is a relative term. I am pretty certain that most of you think I am weird, but guess what? I don’t feel weird – unless you confront me with it, I feel normal, whereas I think your ways of thinking and speaking and behaving are weird for me. Just saying …
Anyway, everything depends on how severe the depression is and where you find yourself on the spectrum. In our case, the answer is yes. From time to time, we see a psychiatrist, but for the rest our life is pretty much the same as yours. And yes, we travel, otherwise this blog would not exist!
Some other remarks:
- In case of a problem, Lars can quickly become stressed and/or confused. I, on the other hand, can become overwhelmed, but I can quickly regain my composure.
- Because my mind processes information slower, I cannot drive a car nor ride a bike.
- Lars’s mind can be chaotic, whereas mine is full of rituals and routines. This contrast is our biggest problem. Whether we are talking about spices or my DVDs or shampoo, everything has its fixed place for me. And when Lars puts something in another place, I can become upset or suffer from a breakdown.
- My biggest problem is loud noise; this can easily trigger a breakdown. Luckily, Lars is aware of this.
If you want more info, there is a good YouTube channel.
Will the Website Change?
Yes! We will pay more attention as to how our mental health influences our way of travel … and vice versa!
Need more info? Contact us!