Jeroen tells about his life on a terrace in the sun. He lives with his wife and daughter in a terraced house in Arnhem. He and his wife have a job, daughter Suze (10) goes to school. Nothing wrong, you'd think. But this common family life is not natural to him. He received several psychoses. Five, to be precise.
Kicked from the yard
The first was at eighteen, on the way to a military inspection in Groningen. "On the train, I thought I could control the train with my energy." During the inspection, I freed myself. That night was even more wrong. It was November and it was raining. "In an illusion I ran out without a coat."
"After fifteen miles I was cold, in a yard there was a car, I tried to hide there." The farmer left his house and at one point stood in the stable door, and I leaned helplessly against him and felt the heat. left the yard, but I kept coming back, he called the police, not long after, I was in the police car with an aluminum blanket and then I ended up in an isolation cell in a paaz.
20,000 acute cases
The Netherlands has about 250,000 to 300,000 people with a serious mental illness. About 20,000 people in this group are in & acute; need for care & # 39;
A report by the Dutch Security Council was published last week. It concludes that our care system does not adequately guarantee the safety of psychiatric persons and their environment. "Health care providers have insufficient insight into security risks," the board says. This is because they work with different systems to record data. "Because of the fragmentation of information into different parts, there is no complete picture of the patient to be able to offer the right help."
For three weeks he was completely stunned and out of the world. He was arrested for four months. The cause? His mother, his soul mate, had died of colon cancer. He could not get along with his father. He had exams, his brother was admitted. "I had not slept at night for two weeks, I could not take it anymore, that worry, now it's gone."
In the clinic he learned two important lessons: you can not change other people, you can only change yourself. And you end what you get. Once at home he had no school, he did not work and he did not take life. "If you do nothing, you will have a benefit and you will be left out. With the lessons of the clinic in mind, he managed to finish high school and study.
Year of disaster
But six years later it went wrong again, his girlfriend who dragged him through everything, broke up after six years. And five years later, Jeroen had a psychosis again. He received his fourth psychosis in 2005. This year he calls it a year of disaster. "I was graduating for the SPH when it went wrong." The girlfriend I committed committed suicide during my recovery after two or three months in the hospital, it was as if a bomb exploded in my heart and I was completely shattered. new, this was very intense. "
The following year was a great year for him. The week he graduated, he found a job as a social worker. Your father treated you on a journey. During the tour organized by Iceland, he met his wife Aukje, who was a cook and driver. "From the first day she was at my door after that trip, we had fun. That year I organized a party." Life is fun.
Outrageous psycho in three days
It was fine for a long time, but in 2011 it went wrong again. This psychosis may have had the biggest impact on your life. Jeroen was now married to Aukje, they had daughter Suze, who was then three. "I suffered a lot from the side effects of the medication in the mood swings and I slept badly, a sign that things were not going well. My work went well, things went well at home, so I wanted to reduce."
He worked out a plan together with the psychiatrist. "I would have positioned all my aid workers and prepared a crisis plan for when things were not going well. Very quietly, according to plan, we would be giving up." This went well until Jeroen could not find his car after work. "I thought it was stolen. In three days I went from normal to psychotic psychology." He says in a low voice and takes another sip of his cappuccino.
In the insulation cell
In his illusion, he felt a connection to his daughter. "Our energies were the same because my wife did not understand this, I locked the kitchen door when I was sitting there with my daughter." I shared a Mandarin with her while my wife knocked on the glass door. my wife later described that it looked like I was looking demonic- ly out of my eyes.she could not reach me and called the police.I ended up again in the isolation cell. "
This time, the consequences were like a landslide. Your relationship has changed. "My wife is afraid that this will happen again.I was convinced the last time it would not happen again.I know it may never happen, but I also know that I will recover after a psychosis like this.If I now that sleep is bad and I feel a psychosis coming, sounding the alarm. "
It goes wrong in 12 minutes
Not everyone understands Jeroen. A psychosis is therefore difficult to explain. Family, friends, but also the police have a hard time dealing with confused people. That's why Jeroen, along with De Monitor, from KRO / NCRV, has developed the virtual reality project "The Confused Man". All of his psychoses, but especially the last of 2011, were used as inspiration.
In twelve minutes you can see how a man is sitting in his living room with the TV on. On the screen, a news item featuring the iconic photo of the two-year-old Syrian boy Aylan lying on the breakwater of the Turkish coast of Bodrum with his face down and his arms along his body. The man mutters, "I have to do something." A normal thought, but slowly these thoughts run away from him and this goes completely wrong.
"Welcome back to reality"
With the headset and virtual reality glasses activated, you will be sucked into the virtual environment. There you see how the man moves his whole house to the garage, to sell it the next day. A female voice sounds from afar "Jeroen, what are you doing?" For a moment you peek at Jeroen's brain. A little you understand what it's like to be a confused man. With this VR experience, Jeroen makes psychoses transparent to the outside world.
Your psychoses become your job. As a PsychoseNet coach and employee, he helps others. "I could never work for a company that says" we made 20% more profit this year. I really want to get in touch with people. "That's why he goes to work and organizes RV workshops. He shares his experiences with the police, the TBS clinics, but also with ordinary people who want to know what it's like to be" confused ".
Daughter now knows how it is
Sharing is healing, it answers the question of what it is like to experience your illusion over and over again. "What I could not explain to people at the time, now I can explain." This is a relief.It is high.When my daughter was eight, she had her glasses for the first time.We sat on the couch, Finally, I could explain to her: that's how it happened in Daddy's head. "
He is not afraid of a relapse. "To avoid this, I asked what I needed from an early age." I had many problems with a family member. "I went to the police, told my past and said that this could trigger a psychosis. I'm not afraid of having another illusion. "
Not wanting to heal
According to Jeroen, you should not want to cure psychiatric patients. "You can not become better, you should not want that either. After a psychosis, you should not want to eliminate this trauma, but you should learn to deal with this new version of yourself."
He is not thrilled with news about confusing people. He is upset with politicians who want to pass a law to confuse confused people for observation. "What's a lame solution, this really touches me." A forced admission costs about 50,000 euros. "If I feel it wrong, I immediately ask for help." That saves society half a ton. I only get a refund if you have a diagnosis, or if things go wrong. "I advocate investing in prevention so that psychiatric patients can be supported before they really get sick.