Flemish Minister fights with depression for more than 20 years: "I take a pill every day "
The liberal Flemish Minister of Media and Culture Sven Gatz told in the TV show "Gert Late Night" that he has been struggling with depression for more than 20 years.
By coming out with it, the minister wants to further break the taboo around mental health problems. "It started at the age of 30," he says. "I had just become a Member of Parliament and I wanted to fly in. I took on more and more. I thought I could handle everything, but that wasn't the case of course. And one day you run into a wall."
"In the beginning you feel tired. You're not interested in anything anymore. And then it gets worse. Actually, your stress meter is broken. Everyone has stress, you go into the red and with normal people it drops back afterwards. For people with depression, that doesn't stop. That keeps going. You also have moments of anxiety. That is very oppressive."
In Sven Gatz's case, the predisposition to depression appeared to be in the family, because his mother also suffers from depression. He was looking for help. Talk therapy was not a success, but the right antidepressants were. "I have learned to live with it, after a few years, I’ve been taking a pill every day for it. Because of this I am no longer "happy" than usual, but my stress level remains under control. I fought against it for a long time, because I wanted to be able to do without medication, but when I was 44 years old it turned out to be difficult."