About Me

About Me

Hi! My name is Jeroen van Werkhoven 38, and this is my own little corner on the internet where I write about my mental health journey. The good, the bad and the ugly parts in a non-chronological order because that’s who I am!  I don’t like to sum up my mental health issues because it feels like I’m labeling myself and that it’s all I am, which is far from the truth.

I made an oath to myself: “Whatever happens, I will never let my mental health issues stand between me and my dream job!” My dream was for a long time to become a professional game developer. After many years of making mistakes and hard work, I managed to make it a reality and went beyond my own expectations. I turned my hobby into my job. I work as a Lead Level Designer in the video game industry, it’s a very challenging, fun and most of all satisfying job.  I love leading, inspiring other people and sharing my knowledge. Being part of creating a product that people can enjoy and forget about their problems even if it’s for a brief moment. Those are pretty much the reasons why I leave my bed in the morning, even on the days I feel empty and defeated.

My goal for my blog is not only to share my journey with you and feel better myself, to learn to accept and love myself, but also to help break through the stigma surrounding mental health. If you have to visit the dentist, you don’t mind talking about it right? But going to therapy that’s for a lot of people a bridge too far. Even worse is that a lot of people don’t go to therapy because of the stigma, I was one of them! After 20+ years I finally decided in 2017 to seek help.

I was bullied for about 9 years during my childhood, and it turned me into a different person. Often I wear a mask, an invisible mask. Under the mask is hidden “The real me!” When you see me, you won’t know that I’m dealing with social anxiety, depression, occasionally suicidal thoughts, and PTSD. It’s not constantly that I’m dealing with this, it comes and goes and that makes it really hard to cope with. I’m not sitting all day home and feel sorry for myself; I’m against self-pity even though mental illness is very capable of trying to make you feel that way. Something I’m 100% aware of and fight against every day….

I was always a fighter and for a long time, I thought I could solve my mental health issues myself. Now I know that I couldn’t and well I should’ve gone to therapy earlier much earlier! But it is what it is and I have to deal with it now. “Overdue maintenance” is what my therapist called it haha. I don’t take medication it’s not because I’m against it, I know it helps a lot of people. However, I don’t feel like it’s a solution for me. I went for a more ‘alternative’ approach instead, called EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) I use it on a daily basis, it’s truly an amazing self-help tool. Though if you want to try it yourself it’s best to start easy. For intense issues, I strongly recommend contacting a professional EFT practitioner.

I hope I’ve inspired you to read my blog and follow me on my journey!

You can find me on Twitter | Instagram and Facebook

Photo: Gabriel Barbosa Fronza