I suffer from the life I lead.

You visit your family doctor, saying you feel unwell. You can’t quite articulate what’s wrong.

It feels like you constantly have to be someone other than who you are. You act extroverted, but you don’t feel extroverted at all.

The doctor looks at you, examines you, and asks a few questions. Then he draws a conclusion. You might have ADHD. He gives you a prescription for medication. “Take this and come back in a month.” You take the pills, and at first, it seems to help, as if your vague ailment disappears. But no, after a few weeks, with or without the pills, the same discontent returns.

You go back to the doctor and tell him it’s still not working out. “Alright,” he says, “it might be your heart. I’ll refer you to a cardiologist.” You meet the specialist in five weeks. He examines you thoroughly and in the end, says he can’t find anything wrong.

You’re back to square one.

Perhaps I’m just stressed, you think. So you see a psychologist, who starts therapy with you. Initially, it seems to be working, and you feel relieved. But after about six weeks, the same old pain resurfaces, vague and inescapable. Where do you turn then? Where can you find someone who will truly listen?

I encounter this question in our consultation room and during our training sessions.

Ton Meijknecht MoTiv TU Delft foto door Joram Boumans

by Ton Meijknecht

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