”Ask and it shall be given to you” – with this quote I agree 100%. For all time I live in Denmark I questioned myself, why in the country where most happy people in the world live there are so many people who have depressions and have different mental diseases from childhood. Spontaneously one of my friends organized meeting with his friend, who came for a weekend in Aarhus. Christian Houmøller now lives in Odense and works as psychologist.
Christian has an extremely interesting life. When he was child with his family he lived 4 years in Nigeria, in 2007 he returned again to this country as a volunteer for 3 months, he was in group with other Danes who worked with kids from streets.
After this experience Christian understood that one of his life goals is to help people, he entered Aarhus university, to psychology department. During this time he had a practice at a hospital and apart from this was working as a student therapist. He graduated university in 2013 and I think he had a very interesting topic for his master’s thesis, he studied third culture kids. ”Third culture kid” is a term from 1950-ss, it describes children who accompany their parents into another society and live in another country for some years. Christian interviewed 5 people and he found something general in their stories: for them it is difficult to return to native country and to find their identity, they feel themselves too different, but because they experience new culture usually for third culture kids it is very easy to communicate with new people, but they are quite bad in building close relationships. But as Christian pointed these things are not clear facts but personal speculations.
During writing his thesis Christian found a job as a psychologist in Odense and he started this job in June. Christian has already 10 clients and he plans to have 15-20 clients per a week. Then we began to talk about his job. Mainly he works with people who were sent by their private doctors. In Denmark there is a special insurance system for attending psychologists. If a person suits one of categories, then for 12 sessions 50% of costs will be paid by the state. Here are these 11 categories:
- Robbery, violence and rape victims.
- Traffic and accident victims.
- Relatives of the severely mentally ill persons.
- Persons suffering from a seriously debilitating disease.
- Relatives of people who are suffering from a serious debilitating disease.
- Relatives of death. In case of death shall also include the involuntary abortion / birth of a stillborn child after the end of 19 – week of pregnancy.
- People who have attempted suicide.
- Women who undergo abortion after 12 – week of pregnancy. Psychological support may be granted prior to the abortion procedure when requesting authorization for surgery are sent to abortion County Council
- Persons who, before the age of 18, have been victims of incest or other sexual assault.
- Individuals with mild to moderate depression between 18 and 37 years old, after completing psychometric tests.
- Individuals with mild to moderate anxiety disorders, including mild to moderate OCD and are between 18 and 38 years.
In his work Christian tries to find out what people think about themselves, about their childhood and relationships with people. He feels his responsibility and tries not to tell them what to do but to help them with those situations. The clients have to do a lot of work between sessions to be able to believe that they can act and take responsibilities about their lives themselves. And in the end he answered my questions about depressions. As he told me one of the the main reason is a satisfaction of humans’ basic needs. As you remember from Maslow pyramid we have basic, psychological and self – fulfillment needs. For example in Ukraine there is necessary to satisfy basic needs. Politically and economically life in Ukraine is not stable, people are not sure in their future, but in Europe people can be sure in it, they have guaranties from governments, that’s why it is more important and more difficult already to satisfy more higher needs. They feel unhappy when they didn’t achieve great goals, and people compare their lives with their neighbors’ or friends’ lives. They feel unhappy if they don’t have perfect jobs, relationships, money or health. Also as often happens sometimes if life there are too many bad things happening and people don’t have strength anymore to handle it themselves, so they ask for a professional help. As Christian pointed the case is also in labels, in Europe people feel more free to go to psychologists and then to have diagnosis “depression”, but in some countries it is considered to be bad to ask for a professional help even if you have symptoms of depression. It is quite interesting that the very next day I met Christian I listened to video lecture of Latvian psychologist Ruslan Narushevich. He told that we live in strange times. They say it is good to feel just happiness, you are not allowed to show negative feeling. Everything has to be nice and positive. And it can destroy us. Because if we don’t want to be crazy we have to feel anger, sorrow, fear and love. Some people are so afraid of other peoples’ negative emotions that they try their best to bring happiness. For example, parents buy candies, best clothes, toys for their kids and then they are surprised that children have awful hysterias, or when man wants his girlfriend to be always happy and does everything for her, in the end she always goes to another man. As I discovered in women nature it is normal to have bad moods, usually once a month, so from her man it is important just to accept these negative emotions and the next day he will receive happy woman again. If he will not allow her bad emotions and will criticize her bad mood, next time it will be double dose. As it appeared man never can be angry with his woman (she trusts him too much), and the parents can never be angry with their children and to show them their fears (unfortunately, it doesn’t happen often in modern families). In the end I heard that it is very important to find good ways to lose negative emotions, like sharing with older friends (not mothers, they can use it against you one day), or priests, to do spiritual practices. Hope you’ve solved all you problems already and found your ways to increase happiness in your life. If no, then just start looking and answers will always come! Have a nice day! 🙂