mental health · video

Life after Selective Mutism – Video!

I know how important my previous video turned out to be for a lot of people, so I thought I would make another one and talk a bit more about the struggles you can experience when you’re getting rid of the anxiety, as well as other thoughts. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I’ll be so happy if you leave a comment and subscribe ❤

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SM · video

Personal Stories & Comments About SM

I thought I would share some of the comments/questions about Selective Mutism that I receive from others struggling or from people knowing someone struggling. I think it’s important just seeing and feeling that you’re not alone and getting that support from others. I often feel very sad and frustrated hearing what people go trough, it’s very tough. At the same time I feel so honoured that you guys want to share this with me and others! I mean, you are so brave. I didn’t talk about my SM when I was younger at all, first of all I didn’t want anyone to know because I didn’t feel normal, and secondly I guess there wasn’t the same opportunities out there – I didn’t see anyone sharing their story and I felt very alone which for sure made it feel even more like something you shouldn’t talk about. But yet here I am receiving messages from 10 and 13 year old’s sharing their story with the rest of the world. So brave and strong!

I’ll share some of the messages/comments that has been written to me on my channels, mostly on my videos, and for the ones that has questions I’ll share my response to those as well!

I don’t have any professional aspect in this with education, but I do have my own life experience and personal story with Selective Mutism and it is from that I am answering questions or giving advice to anyone. I do my best to help in the way I can. 

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My 7 yr old daughter says that the only thought that goes on in her mind while answering a question in school is how will people (teachers and classmates) react as they have never heard her… Can you please tell us how you overcame this aspect of SM…she’s now comfortable talking to strangers , ordering in restaurants etc…but not while talking to people with whom she has not spoken to before for the fear of their reaction…pls give some tips how to overcome these thoughts which stop her…

REPLY:

Thank you so much for your comment. I remember feeling like that, and it’s not easy… For me it was about realising that I need to do it for me, that I deserve to talk and use my words just as much as everyone else. Take one step at a time. Maybe decide together to answer one thing a day, and so on… I think it’s a lot about gaining that confidence in yourself. It’s very very difficult and frustrating because the worst part is the attention, but it’s so important to start thinking that you need to do it for yourself. If people look, they look. You are strong and it will only make you stronger and more secure in yourself… It’s a fight but it’s worth it!

 

Thanks so much for this Marte, it’s really good to see people talking about this now. As a former SM child myself I can completely relate and understand. Especially the pain you feel when questioned as to why you don’t speak, how frustrating and embarrassing it was to be introduced as someone who ‘doesn’t speak’ or shy. And also how talking to strangers is easier as you don’t feel judged. I particularly loved how you talked about the good sides to it. I too feel I read people very well, have more sensitivity to others than most and understand a lot about people through trying to understand myself .The more videos and posts I think people can do the better. Well done for getting to where you are today and thanks again xx

REPLY:

This means so much. I do think it’s important for people struggling right now to know that even though it all seems bad, we do have some very good things come out of it that makes us who we are, and makes us see the world in a pretty understanding, different way that I know other people usually don’t. And we are very strong!

 

I have a friend who has selective mutism and im doing everything I can to help her however its nothing is working and I doubt I have even the slightest chance however I dont care if its the last day of school I refuse to give up on her and im wondering if you had any advice that could be of use

REPLY:

It’s so amazing you want to help. Just be patient and understanding – I think that’s the most important thing. Be normal around her as much as you can, maybe talk about challenges she can do to start taking small steps, and just support her through it the best you can!

 

I’m 13, and I have selective mutism. I only just recently just found out what is was, and iv’e always just though I was weird. I was always known as the “weird kid” the “quiet kid” and iv’e always felt like I wanted to talk, but I couldn’t. All of this prevented me from making new friends and joining clubs. The only person I ever talk to is a friend a met last year, and even though it is usually just whispering and writing stuff down on a paper to him. He’s the only friend iv’e ever had. My parents never understood, and they always ridicule me say i’m weird for not talking, and how it’s embarrassing for them how I don’t talk. This video really help me, and reading the comments and listening to your story really makes me feel not alone.

REPLY:

Thank you so much for sharing your story! You’re such a brave and strong person, I know for a fact when I was your age I couldn’t even share what I was struggling with. I am really happy to hear that you have a friend, and even if it is writing things down on a paper or whispering – it doesn’t matter, you have someone and that’s so important. I’m really sorry that your parents doesn’t understand, it shouldn’t be like that. If you are able to, I think you should show them this video, or even just write them a letter or an email explaining how you feel, and adding some links for information about SM, including this video so they can understand more how you feel. Sometimes that is easier than just saying it, and often it might make them really read and properly receive all the information – hopefully realising they are wrong in the way they put you down, instead of being your support. Parents shouldn’t say those things, no matter what’s going on. You are never alone, and I’m so impressed by your honesty and strength!

 

Here’s more from people sharing their stories:

I’m 17 almost 18 and I currently have selective mutism…no one really knew what it was while I was in public school so I was always just labeled as the shy girl that doesn’t talk, people would always confront me on why I wouldn’t talk but I couldn’t bring myself to tell them so they’d call me weird and ignore me.

 

I had selective mutism until I was 15 years old. I’m now 19 and I can now speak to most people. I still have anxiety while speaking on the phone to strangers and my anxiety stops me from leaving my flat sometimes. But I am so proud of how far I’ve come. You are not alone and you can get through whatever you’re going through. Stay strong Thank you Marte for sharing your story xx 

 

I’m 11 years old I have it too it’s hard and makes blood pressure go up and I get really nervous.

 

I relate to you so much, I’m 21 and have had SM since I was In Kindergarten. It’s been tough. Thank you for explaining the positive side of having SM , because you made me realize the truths on the positive aspects of having SM that I’ve never thought about before.

 

I wish a could give you all a hug! I can’t believe how strong and brave these people are, I truly admire your openness and if I could just give you the perfect advice to get completely rid of Selective Mutism I would… The truth is there’s no easy path and there’s a lot of ups and downs, but it makes you grow – and you learn so much about yourself, life and others along the way. The most important thing is to stay strong and don’t lose hope. Teach yourself to be ok even though you are uncomfortable, it’s something that will always help you out in the long run – putting yourself in situations you might feel uncomfortable feels like the worst possible position when you have SM, but the more you do it the more you learn that it helps, it works. You grow and you’ll be able to overcome more and more as time goes by. Thank you to everyone sharing their stories, and also to anyone watching and learning about SM from my videos because their friend is struggling – you are so amazing!! It’s because of people like you guys we get through it.

I’ll add the two videos I’ve posted so far ❤

mental health

BEFORE & AFTER – Gaining Happiness

Times have changed and I know a lot of people are now wanting to gain muscles instead of just getting skinnier or losing weight, which is how I feel like it used to be. If you, as a girl, were working out you just wanted to get a little bit toned and would much more rather loose weight than gain it. I remember I wouldn’t lift any heavier than like a 5kg weight because I didn’t wanna get muscles that were “too big” . Because I was a girl and it wasn’t pretty. Stupid, right? This was before I developed a serious problem with food, weight and my measurements, but I still had that mindset.

That’s loooong gone now and I love lifting heavy weights. I mostly do legs, that’s no lie, and I guess partly how that started was also a result of the world changing around us and what became more “popular”. Now I feel differently. I do love having more curves, but I most importantly have a genuine passion for working out with weights and getting stronger – it gives me a lot more than what just running on a treadmill does. It’s a little break from all the stress around me, just going to the gym and focusing on me and what I’m doing in that exact moment and only that. Working out has always been some sort of therapy for me, no doubt.

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It’s clear to see the difference on the outside, but the changes on the inside are what matters the most. On the left you see a young girl who had actually GAINED weight after being in Athens and then I had arrived in Milan, still extremely skinny and also sick. My body was craving so much because I had been neglecting it from everything for such a long time that I started buying crazy amounts of junk food, going back to the model apartment, eating it all, then not eating anything the next day except for drinking juice because I felt bad. I remember feeling so ashamed, just thinking how in the world I became “that girl”. Truth is: anyone can. As this was going on I was even helping other models struggling, giving them advice and talking to them about their problems with food and their bodies. It’s crazy how much in denial I was.

I remember that later, after Milan, when I started gaining weight because I actually got a inflammation in my stomach as a result of everything I had done (will have to live with that forever) and had to start a medicine that gave me a lot of water weight, my model agent sent me pictures from my Milan trip saying how perfect I was back then. I mean, how does it not mess you up?

Then on the right – you can see me now. Healthier and happier. Strong and in love with both pizza and green tea.

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I will always have a slim figure, it’s just in my genes and I am not trying to show you guys what anyone should look like, or what a transformation should be. This is just mine. That is not what I am trying to shed light on – no body types, no big or small, no thigh gap this or big butt that. It’s the happiness you give yourself when you decide to just let you be you. The healthy version of you. Wether it’s going to the gym just a little bit more, or going a little bit less. Wether it’s to stop letting yourself not eat what you want because of “carbs”, or if it’s adding more vegetables to your dinner instead of eating noodles every day. It’s all about balance. Too much of anything is never good.

I found change in the people around me as well, I started realising what was important – knowing I could not live my life like this. I met Dan and all I started doing was living in the moment. Food was something to enjoy and love was something you couldn’t define by a body or an image. I realised love is real and it doesn’t judge. So I stopped doing that as well. I decided to give love to the real me and everything that comes with doing so.

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mental health

Depression and Social Anxiety- The New Trend?

Listened to this podcast the other day and they randomly brought up something that made me think.

So many people today keep talking about social anxiety and depression, and it just seems like we’re all lost in what it really means and how serious it is. Nervousness is actually being mistaken for social anxiety. Sad and tough days, months and times are being seen as depression. Life isn’t supposed to be easy and I don’t think the first thought should be to diagnose yourself. There can (and should be, I think personally) hard times in your life. How did life turn into a bunch of diagnoses? I don’t think it’s difficult to find the answer. Hearing people throw these diagnoses around like it’s nothing can actually make you think that there might be something more to what your feeling, because of course – what you are feeling is important, but it doesn’t mean you have something more affecting you than just life itself.

There’s so many feelings and other sides to life than just happiness, bliss and motivation. Did we somehow forget these last years that nervousness can make your stomach hurt, hands shake and even make you forget everything you just did and say? Did we forget life comes with ups and downs, you can’t just expect one bad day – it’s very possible there will be more, or did we just never realise this until people started being open about depression? And finally we could explain our lack of motivation, not getting up from our beds and the bad year we had? We’re so focused on talking about what’s wrong with us and rather than telling other people why we are feeling like that, we talk about the diagnosis that makes us feel like that, but when are we going to realise the focus should be elsewhere? It should be on you and you understanding yourself. If you need to talk to someone you should, if you need a break take it – but feel your feelings and work on you the best you can, you don’t always need a diagnosis for the tough times and the tough situations.

Trust me, I do know that depression and anxiety is very real. I don’t want you to think anything else. I have had low times, but never depression. Anxiety on the other hand, I have experienced throughout my childhood as most of you guys know. It’s not like I judge every person saying they suffer from anxiety because it’s not the same as what I went trough, and I think being open and honest about our struggles is a very positive part of our generation. I still strongly feel like all the labels and diagnoses are too much the center of attention. If we just started being honest about how we feel and where we are in our lives emotionally I think it could change so much for all of us. We could stop questioning if our feelings are not serious enough, or too serious, and just be more open about the struggles we go through as a part of life.

Your feelings, your life and your mental health should be your number one priority – nothing is wrong, too much or too little… Work with yourself, figure our how you can help yourself – and even if that means receiving help and support from others in order to feel better, that’s what you need to do ❤

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Photo by Saq Imtiaz and edit by me
Photographs · Thoughts

How Will We Ever Be Happy With Our Bodies?

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the sun and her flowers by rupi kaur 

i reduced my body to aesthetics

forgot the work it did to keep me alive

with every beat and breath

declared it a grand failure for not looking like theirs

searched everywhere for a miracle

foolish enough to not realise

i was already living in one

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Photo: Mila Ritz

Treat your body like you treat someone you love. Someone who loves you back. You should want to take care of it because it takes care of you. Make sure it’s healthy and happy, because that gives you health and happiness.

I’ve been through ups and downs with my body, and at times I’ve treated it very poorly. I went from being happy and healthy to the opposite when I stepped into the modeling industry. You can read more about that story here.

Everyone always seem to blame “society”. Like we don’t realise we’re part of it. Society isn’t “them”, it’s all of us. It’s the comments, the unrealistic goals that’s never real, and the judgement if you ever say you are happy with yourself.

It starts with us. It will always start with us, you and me. Appreciate your body for what it always was supposed to be. A miracle. Amazing in itself, exactly how it is.

You’re here, aren’t you?

SM · video

Having a Child With Selective Mutism – Video

So a lot of people wanted to know more about my Mom’s feelings, struggles and so on when having me, a daughter, with Selective Mutism. What was it like for her, and what did she go through? I’m sure a lot of you can relate, and I hope this video makes you feel less alone ❤

Please write any questions or requests for any other Selective Mutism videos in the comments, and I will remember until next time! Thank you for watching!

mental health · selective mutism · SM · video

Selective Mutism – My first YouTube video!

So I have finally filmed my first YouTube video about Selective Mutism! In this one I talk about my story, but I did try to make it short and simple – just so you can get to know me a bit better, but the main thing was to reach out to you guys struggling right now… This video is more of an introduction and I would really love it if you could ask me questions or let me know of what you want me to talk more about in the other videos!

I really hope you like it and that you possibly can benefit from my videos, both this one and the next ones! Thank you for watching ❤