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Article: Blog 13: The Power of Vulnerability: A Young Woman's Candid Perspective on Mental Health

Blog 13: The Power of Vulnerability: A Young Woman's Candid Perspective on Mental Health

The Power of Vulnerability: A Young Woman's Candid Perspective on Mental Health

A good friend of mine, Daphne, is also very much into the topics covered in my blogs. For example, Daphne has been very open about problems with her mental health. She doesn't know what she wants in terms of work, she feels tremendous pressure from society and at the same time she feels she is underwhelmed by the amount of choices.

I admire Daphne's vulnerability. She had long had the idea to do more with it and she has now done so. On her Instagram page (@dapsdilemma) she wants to talk about real stories, real doubts, headaches and dilemmas.

The awareness of the mental problems, social pressure, stress, etc. among the generation seems to be there, but Daphne is a forerunner on expressing her opinions and feelings. So this is the reason for inviting her to my blog. Because where does she get the nerve to speak so openly about it?

I ask Daphne the following questions: 

  • Where did the will come from to start @dapsdilemma, how do you feel it is going so far and what would you most like to achieve with your page?

I had been walking around with the idea of starting my own page for some time. What exactly I wanted to do with it I didn't know. Maybe inspire or enthuse people? At the same time, I was going through a difficult phase. I had finished my studies and was unable to find a job that suited me. I increasingly felt that I had simply chosen the wrong education. But your education covers such a big piece of your life; your identity. What was I supposed to do if this wasn't it at all? I developed an awful lot of stress-related symptoms. From bad sleep and panic attacks to heart palpitations. And meanwhile I was trudging along. It was getting worse by the day. Eventually I decided to report it. Not only to my managers but also to my friends and family. And the more I talked about it - the more people I talked to who were struggling with the same things. And that was such a relief. Knowing that I wasn't alone.

Our generation has a lot to endure. From 0 stimuli and being forced to sit inside during the pandemic to suddenly moving forward at full speed. We are massively burnt out while trying to get our foot in the door with hefty student debt in a dramatic housing market. I certainly don't think we should underestimate the impact of this.

And as I try to fold my head around these types of issues, I also often catch myself saying that it is precisely these types of conversations and questions that I don't see much of online. Yes I talk about it; with friends and colleagues. But why isn't my Instagram feed full of it?
As soon as I open up the socials I am stimulated on all sides. With events. Milestones. Happy faces. And the occasional candid post. But why isn't it more about the things that - apparently - so many people struggle with?

And so I decided to write about just that. And lo and behold: Daps Dilemma. I must confess: I had a little dip after the start. The more I pushed myself to write, the less came out. Until one morning I realized: this is exactly the problem! The constant striving for perfection. And so I resolved to just write what comes to mind more often. No very long, profound epistles every time. A reminder or quote is also just totally fine.

  • Do you have any idea why you are able to bring out your stories on the sensitive topics so powerfully? Where does the guts and this power come from?

Sweet of you to say that! I think I've just always had a good sense of words and for some reason I just manage to put my feelings on paper (or screen) quickly. Also, I really like to spend hours chatting with people and take other people's input as well. I don't think that makes me more powerful than others or more daring; but that I just manage to put things into words just a little better.

  • I imagine you can start to have a big impact on the people who get inspiration from your stories. Do you also have a future dream that fits this?

For now, it's to share more. Real sharing. In the form of writing and making videos. I think it would be great to eventually share all my thoughts and ideas with people. To build a kind of community where people know how to find each other for support and advice. Where there is always a listening ear. And a lot of understanding.
Because loneliness or thinking you're the only one going through something is really one of the nastiest feelings to have. And I think it would be very valuable if I could eventually motivate and inspire other people. And then just managing to start certain dialogues.

  • What are you grateful for today?

So much! Life itself. My dear family and friends. The fact that I am healthy. But if I had to choose one thing? A healthy head. I am so grateful that over the years I have gained a much healthier mindset towards myself. It has helped me put things into perspective, I know how to regulate my emotions better and I can now see much better what is worth my energy and what is not. Life has really become more fun.

I always say: rule your mind or it will rule you. Mindset and self-love can be taught, 100%. It's not easy, but it's possible. And the feeling and peace it brings you? I sincerely wish that for everyone. And if I can help someone with that - then I am truly a grateful person.

The head of Charlie

Jurren van der Gun & Daphne
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