When everything becomes too much

When everything becomes too much

Sexually abused for years. Bounced. Disheartened. Paul schmidt (name changed by the editors) was still a child, just seven years old, when a member of the family started doing it and wouldn’t let go of him. For years he put up with it, he put up with it, he said to himself: "he does this to me because he likes me very much." For years he tried not to let it get to him, tried to ignore it when his own parents saw him only as an "additional glutton at the table" insulted.

But at some point the end came, he suppressed everything, suppressed himself from all this, as if in a kind of protective mechanism. Schmidt could not remember anything, he did not even know that there was anything to remember at all. Until his 35th birthday. In his second year of life, when everything suddenly changed and all his childhood experiences caught up with him again in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Alcohol excesses and drug addiction were the result. Schmidt then lost everything: his job, his wife and his children. "I was treated like the last dirt", the 46-year-old recalls. Today he gets a pension.

He was married, had two children, had his own house, was a member of the national martial arts team, and worked his way up from nurse to deputy department head in the intensive care unit and instructor in the nursing station. "I worked, worked, worked. Always wanted to give the best performance. Today I know that it was the hunt for recognition", says schmidt. Several herniated discs in his back put an end to his happy days. Despite four operations: the pain remained, but did not stop.

Schmidt resorted to alcohol, not often, but again and again. Drunk at times from zero to 4.9 per mille. Several times he ended up unconscious in the hospital without being able to remember anything. Drug dependency was added. Schmidt became more and more conspicuous at work and was finally fired. "I really shot myself down, took everything that made me flat." That there was much more behind the back pain, that it reminded him of the pain he had experienced as a child during sexual abuse – he had no idea at the time.

Schmidt felt powerless, helpless, pulled out all the stops to get a grip on himself again, visited alcoholics anonymous, went to detox several times, got therapeutic treatment. But most of them have simply given him the "addict" label printed. Causal research? Missing. Only a doctor in the psychiatric clinic in werneck was able to help him, readjusted his medication and brought up the subject of sexual abuse on the tablet. "Only then did everything gradually crystallize out. Now I can work through everything in peace."

Schmidt is not the exception with his history of suffering, the woman also roswitha kramer, district manager at the vdk. On the contrary. Childhood memories are often the real cause of psychological stress and thus of early retirement: "most people just don’t bother to come to terms with what they’ve experienced. The disease therefore usually only appears at a later age."

In such cases, the professional requirements are often only the reason for the illness. It occurs mainly in service professions: "it is often typical that nurses and people who help others in their professions are particularly at risk."

However, there is no one main cause of psychological stress. "It is a combination of several factors", declares kramer. In recent years, the number of cases has increased significantly. The background is more and more often the excessive demands of his job. Many feel overburdened, tormented, sometimes even bullied. "Occupational demands are increasing. You are only expected to function", says kramer.

Schmidt is grateful to the vdk to this day. He accompanied him when he was in bad shape, helped him fill out applications, go to authorities and everything else that was needed. It took a whole year and a half for him to get his pension. He is not allowed to work. Rather, he continues to try to overcome his trauma from back then. He is still being treated with interval therapy at a clinic in gottingen. "I am slowly getting back on my feet. It is a process in which one piece of the puzzle fits together with another", HE SAYS. "I’m back in life, that’s the most important thing."

One-third early retirement due to mental illness:

26 men and 33 women from the district of kitzingen retired in 2011 due to mental disorders. That is 32 percent of all new early retirements in the district of. Among women, the figure is as high as 41.3 percent. The average age of men in kitzingen who retired early due to mental disorders was 49.9 years, that of women 47.4 years. This is the result of a recent study by the techniker krankenkasse (tk).
In lower franconia, 527 men and 544 women were granted early retirement due to mental disorders in 2011. This corresponds to 37.4 percent of all new early retirements in lower franconia.

In 2011, 32,287 men and 40,256 women in germany took early retirement due to mental disorders. This corresponds to 41.4 percent of all new early retirements in germany.