Stilte is gevaarlik

Hy onthou die dag wat die donker net nie wou wyk nie.

17 September 2019 | Health

“Jy kan ’n vol lewe as depressielyer hê as jy jouself met die regte, positiewe, opbouende mense omring." - Pieter van Zyl

Henriette Lamprecht - As kind het hy gedink hy’s die enigste een op die planeet wat met donker gedagtes en algemene angs leef. Op hoërskool het hy eenkeer al die pille in sy ma se badkamerkassie gedrink om sy eie lewe te neem – gelukkig was dit meestal vitaminepille. Op universiteit het hy baie begin drink wanneer die donker gevoel op hom toegesak het.

Eers as misdaadverslaggewer in sy twintigs in Johannesburg is die Huisgenoot-joernalis en skrywer Pieter van Zyl met depressie gediagnoseer en het hy uiteindelik medikasie daarvoor ontvang. Hy is openlik oor sy stryd en deur sy storie met ander te deel, wil hy voorkom dat ander ook soveel jare sonder behandeling verspeel, sê hy.

Hopelik kan dit iemand red wat oorweeg om sy of haar lewe te neem.

Pieter onthou die dag wat die donker net nie wou wyk nie, die dag toe hy sy eerste lyk as misdaadverslaggewer gesien het. ’n Man in Mondeor, Johannesburg, is 13 keer geskiet voor hy sy voordeur kon oopsluit. Toe Pieter op die toneel kom, het die man se vriende ’n kringetjie om hom gemaak en vir hom gebid. Dié aand kon hy nie slaap nie. Die donkerte wou buite en binne nie wyk nie.

“Ek het regtig gedink ek gaan vir die res van my lewe so voel en het oorweeg om ’n einde aan alles te maak. Gelukkig het ek baie vriende en kollegas gehad met wie ek kon praat en wat my na ’n goeie psigiater verwys het.”

Sy diagnose was ’n wedergeboorte, sê Pieter. Uiteindelik het hy verstaan hoekom hy op skool so angstig was en pouses letterlik weggekruip het.

“Ek het soveel jare gemors omdat ek nie ’n naam gehad het vir dit waaraan ek ly nie.”

Die slaaploosheid was die ergste – om nagte deur te lê en na die plafon te staar.

Dan was daar die paniekaanvalle wat hom in die intensiewesorgeenheid laat beland het omdat hy gedink het hy is besig om ’n hartaanvaal te kry. Pieter was ook voortdurend lewensmoeg – iets wat hy aanvanklik gedink het net die newe-effekte is van al die harde dwelms (kokaïen, LSD en ecstacy) wat hy geneem het. Toe dit vir hom voel hy kan nie meer sy werk doen nie, het hy geweet hy moet hulp kry. Drank, dwelms en anonieme seks was sy manier om te self-medicate, erken hy nou.

Vir Pieter werk die chroniese medikasie waarop hy tans is, maar dis nie al nie, beklemtoon hy.

Oefening en om tyd in die natuur deur te bring, al is dit net in ’n parkie iewers in die stad, help baie om weer moed te skep, sê hy. Dit vuur die endorfiene aan, glo Pieter.

“Niemand wat oefen – gym of net vinnig stap – het al vir my gesê dit help nie om hul depressie te lig nie. Om met vriende te kuier – sonder fone en nie op sosiale media nie, net daai interaksie en geborgenheid gee jou weer visie vir die toekoms,” sê hy.

Al voel dit nie onmiddellik so nie, gaan jy beter voel as jy die regte behandeling kry, glo Pieter.

“Jy kan ’n vol lewe as depressielyer hê as jy jouself met die regte, positiewe, opbouende mense omring. Raak ontslae van mense wat jou aftrek en fokus op vriendskappe wat jou oplig. Dis ’n cliché, maar dis waar: ’n Gesonde lyf huisves ’n gesonde gees. As dit voel jy word oorweldig, maak toe jou oë en sien al die lekker tye wat jy al in jou lewe gehad het soos ’n fliek voor jou afspeel en weet daar lê vir seker nog voor. Daar gaan moeilike, hartseer en neerdrukkende tye kom, maar as jy sorg dat jou gemoed goed en sterk is, sal jy heel anderkant uitkom.”

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