After a year of suffering bouts of depression and anxiety, Jens Dendoncker, 31, recounts little by little what he’s been through in recent months. After announcing his comeback on TV during a conversation with Johann Teren, he now tells concretely in the context of Red Nose Day about the impact of depression on his life. “I didn’t stop crying.”
“There was one morning when I woke up and almost couldn’t get out of bed,” Dendoncker says. I was crying, my girlfriend had to help me get out of bed. I couldn’t shower, physically I was completely stuck. And I didn’t stop crying. Then we said, “Okay, something happened.” The fear grew to the point where it was mortgaging my life.
“Concretely, I’ve taken a tremendous amount of pressure on my chest,” he continues. “I cut my breath exactly. There is an obsession that does not leave, grabs you by the nape. It feels so bad, because it feels like you have completely lost control of your body. Although there will also be people who will describe their anxiety attack differently. This is personal to me. It has a side Very paralyzed, nothing is working so far.You feel so heavy, they are tying you to your bed or to your chair.
Without warning, suddenly, suddenly
To get back to himself, Dendoncker tried to sit somewhere. “My hands are on the floor, making contact with the ground. Then I tried to count up to ten or twenty. To push that thought back. I also started to pay attention to my breath. It also helped.”
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The comedian continues to say that it is difficult for him to identify a concrete cause for his fears. This is the problem, too. There is really no concrete reason. In itself I had a very good life: a job I loved, love, a home. In my own context it is very difficult to say: This and that caused depression. I think it’s clearer with some people, but not with me. It’s been a little Without warning, suddenly, suddenly“.
Dendoncker was hospitalized for approximately three months, from November 2020 to the end of January, early February 2021. Under intense supervision, both group therapy and individual therapy. At first I didn’t believe it myself, for the first week I was still in denial. I also felt completely fine after that, after that morning I pulled myself together again. But when it all started to sink in, I calmed down on one hand and panicked again on the other. Then I felt: Well, that’s what I’m here for.“
It wasn’t easy, because you are constantly thinking about the home front. My love who has to do everything alone. At the same time, you try as much as you can to keep in mind: “I have to fix this so I can go back to my old self.” That’s the goal, even if it means you’ll be away from home for months.
Dendoncker himself announced via Instagram that he’s signed up. Primarily to make it clear to people with the same problem, fears, or depression, that they shouldn’t feel disadvantaged or reluctant to share it. I thought, “If I did this, I might convince someone to talk to professionals.” Because you can’t wait long with it.
Dendoncker speaks from experience. “The fact that I delayed him just shows how much I didn’t want it. How unprepared I was to face panic attacks, with such depression in general. He always catches you in the bad times. I think I thought for a long time: “If you ignore it, it will go away.” on its own.” But it doesn’t help you move on, because then you’ll get doubly and heavy later. So: Don’t try to hide those cues and listen too carefully.
Now that things have gradually improved, the comedian is seeing a silver lining in the dark months in the distance. When Terryn asks if there is comedy in everything he’s been through, he answers positively. There is comedy in everything, including what I’ve been through. But it will be some time before I will be told this way.
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