Depression: I've been feeling bad for so long.

Everyone has good and bad moments. Normally these alternate continuously. For some people however, the bad times seem to last forever. They feel like they're in a deep pit they can’t get out of. When you experience this kind of feeling, you might be suffering from depression. Anyone, including sex workers, can suffer from depression. But what exactly is it? And above all, what can you do to get over it?

“I feel so useless and invisible in this world. Every morning I have to drag myself out of bed and to work and when I get back, I crawl back into bed. I feel like no one's even looking at me. I don't have any friends. I'm so unhappy.”

Blanka, window prostitute

What is depression?

It's hard to give one single definition of depression. There are several types and people experience depression in different ways. The exact symptoms vary from person to person, or from sex worker to sex worker.

Depression always develops over a longer time during which you may experience multiple signs or symptoms that have a huge impact on your daily life. You may experience the following:

  • Often feeling low
  • Having low self-esteem
  • Feeling guilt-ridden
  • Difficulty sleeping, sleepless nights
  • Always feeling tired
  • Lack of energy. Unable to get out of bed
  • No more interest in activities you normally liked
  • Decreased or increased appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling nervous and finding it difficult to make decisions
  • ...

These complaints make it harder to function effectively. Your life seems to be falling apart: you venture out less, loose interest in your work or not see any sense in going to work, make less time for friends or family, avoid going out to shop for food, and so on.

There are several reasons why this is happening to you. Not only you - it can happen to anyone.

Sometimes an incident (e.g. a bad experience with a customer, a relationship breakdown, an argument with parents or friends, etc.) is just the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. It could also be that multiple problems have been dragging on without a solution (debts, no fixed income) and you no longer see a way out.

What can you do?

When you have a depression, you often feel you're on your own and have to go it alone. You may also be afraid that others will think you’re weak. But you’re not!

People with depression need those around them and someone who lends them a listening ear. It is important that you find a confidant with whom you can discuss how you feel.

It is good to talk, and those close to you can emphasise your qualities and skills. They can help you through the bad days and put things in perspective. Getting over a depression is a process of trial and error. You will have to take it step by step and no doubt face some tough times. That is why support from those close to you is so important.

If you prefer not to talk about your difficulties to those around you, you could contact a Violett counsellor. They offer a listening ear and know all about depression. They can stay in touch, meet you regularly and provide support and advice. 

Every depression is different. Sometimes you will need extra support to put your problems in perspective and feel better. Some people get extra help from medication, such as antidepressants. This medication can be a help but must always be monitored by a doctor or psychiatrist. 

Others go into therapy. A therapist can offer you tips and support to overcome depression and make a step-by-step recovery. Combining medication and therapy is also possible.

Are you interested in meeting a GP, psychiatrist or therapist  to look at the different options and find out how you can be helped? If you don't know where to start, please contact Violett. Our counsellors can give you further information, put you in touch with the appropriate care provider, and if you wish, they can accompany you on your first visit.

“I don't want to be here anymore. Everything went wrong. My relationship broke down and I barely made any money. I felt like I was all alone. Does my life make sense? No one would miss me if I went, would they? I went to work and felt so empty. A colleague saw something was wrong. She took me aside and asked what was going on. I was so exhausted just then that I could no longer keep things to myself. I told her everything. She was shocked, but she's been there for me every moment since.”

Elise, escort

I do not want to be here any more 

Sometimes depression makes you feel as though you are stuck in a pit that you can’t seem to get out of anymore. You may get suicidal thoughts and think suicide is the only way out.

When this happens, you MUST talk to someone about these thoughts and explain clearly how you feel. This can be another sex worker but can also be a person close to you. However, if there is no such person, you can call caregivers such as the Violett counsellors. They will listen to you and work with you on a solution.

Belgium also has a suicide helpline which is available 24/7 to listen to your problems and your thoughts about suicide. Via this website you can chat, phone or email them, but the site also offers information and tips about possible solutions. The service is free of charge and completely anonymous.

Do you know another sex worker with suicidal thoughts? Are you worried about someone and don't know what to do? You can find tips on the website of the suicide helpline if you are faced with this kind of situation. It is not always easy to discuss these issues with the person concerned. Violett's counsellors are there for you. Do contact us if you need to pour your heart out.

The counsellors of the suicide helpline are available24/7. You can chat, email and call anonymously and free of charge.

Do you want to talk about it?

Wil je hierover praten met een medewerker van Violett?

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