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Thijs

Daniel

Thijs’ story


thijs

For privacy reasons we use fictional names and photos.


What was going on?
It started with stress related to my study. “I was never a great planner. By the time, I had to hand in my thesis, I could not take the stress anymore. I did not see my fellow students anymore since I fell behind in my study and there were no more lessons being given. My parents have never been very interested. The low point was when my mom did not what my topic was two months before I had to hand in. I had to do everything in my head and did not have anybody I could talk to. After I heard that I had to improve my thesis and that I did not pass my retake exams, I experienced a bad period. I felt very alone. When the alarm clock went, my first thought was: I have to get through another day. My body was so used to the stress that even if I ‘calmly’ worked at home on my thesis, I was never able to relax. I suffered from a high heart rate, slept badly, and had a decreased appetite. It felt as if my body was slowly shutting down.”


How did @ease come along?
"I saw an episode of ‘Kruispunt’ about 'the performance generation', which I recognized myself in immediately," says Thijs. "Excelling has become the norm, but we forget that not everyone can keep up." He began searching for information and came across the website of @ease. This was what he needed. He doubted whether he would just like sharing his problems with others. But he had to talk to somebody.

What happened at @ease?
Thijs explains: “The three of us sat in a room: an experienced volunteer, a student and myself. I could tell them everything that was bothering me. It is incredible that you can feel so much better after a good conversation of an hour and a half. I went four times. Looking back, I realize that I was definitely depressed. I could speak with the volunteers very easily about my thoughts and feelings, which I am very grateful for. They asked the right questions and showed a lot of understanding.


Thijs_headline

How is it now?
Thijs has now finished his thesis. One more exam, then he will graduate. On the advice of @ease and his family doctor, he uses a meditation app to relax because he still suffers from a high heart rate as a result of his depression. He has told a few friends about the difficult period he has gone through. And he has booked a trip overseas. "I notice the signs of my body sooner. I have to make sure that I provide for my emotional needs. That's been a lesson. I hope to meet like-minded people on my trip. I want to make new friends and above all just enjoy life."


Message to other young people
“You don’t have to feel alone and you don’t have to feel ashamed about anything. There are people who understand you. Look for a place where you can talk about your thoughts and feelings. For example, at @ease.

The story of Daniel


Daniel

For privacy reasons we use fictional names and photos..


Daniel is a 20 years old foreign student. He visited @ease, because he felt confused after his girlfriend broke up their relationship unexpectedly. He needed to throw out everything, but had nobody to share his feelings. @ease was the place he could talk about where he was going through. Now, he stands stronger in life, and is more prepared for a new relationship.


What was going on?
Daniel came to the Netherlands for his study, where he met his girlfriend, also a foreign student. Daniel: “It was my first serious relationship. We spent a lot of time together. Walking around, watching Netflix, we were happy together. But suddenly, after I had visited my parents for a couple of weeks, she broke up. I thought: What did I do wrong? Why does she do this to me? It was after six months, just at the moment I really started loving her. For me, it was totally unexpected. I had to try to live without her and building up everything from zero again. I started writing it down in my diary. But it didn’t help enough. I was totally out of control.” Daniel had nobody to talk to. From his culture, he was not used to talk about relationships with his parents. And he didn’t want to burden his friends with his problems. “One time, I spoke to my mother about my girlfriend. That was after I had posted a picture of us together at Instagram. It was hard for her to see that I was dating. After the break, my mom said: ‘It is just a girl.’ That was very painful for me. I needed a non-judgemental listening ear.”

How did @ease come along?
Daniel tells: “In the first months of my study, I saw a poster of @ease at the faculty. At that moment, I didn’t realize that I would ever visit it. Nine months later, I came to @ease to talk about my heartbreak.”

What happened at @ease?
Daniel continues: “I just talked to the volunteers of @ease. They gave me the opportunity to get to the bottom. Letting everything go. I was at a low point of my life at that moment. I felt that someone got my hand. I was not alone with my thoughts anymore. After that open conversation, I felt so much lighter.”


How is it now?
Daniel learned a lot from the difficult period after the break. The conversation at @ease helped him to look forward again. “I take care of myself more now. I can see that I am a complete person with or without her. And I am more willing to enjoy and try new things. Especially my hobby of dancing.” Daniel talked to some of his friends about the hard period he had been through. “Before @ease, I was too full of emotions. I was happy my friends understood my feelings. They told me that it needs time. Now, I am open for a new relationship.”

Message to other young people
“It doesn’t matter how small or big your problem is. When you cannot see things clear, you need to talk about it. When you don’t have anyone, you can go to @ease. You need to get to the bottom. After that, you can build up again.”

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