Recently in Denmark, we had our first ever shooting-incident. A random, white guy stepped into FIELDs (a shopping mall in Copenhagen, Denmark) in true American fashion and started shooting people. Too many people were influenced by this, and I honestly have a naive hope that this will stay with this one event.

While some stories broke of US Politicians using this small Danish event to underline their pro-weapons arguments. The concern in Denmark doesn’t seem to be whether or not to strengthening laws on gun control. Actually, one of the first comments made in the media immediatly after was how the gun-man had got ahold of the gun? And how this could be prevented in the future?

Interestingly, the Danish society seems concerned in completely different ways.

On one hand, I’ve heard anxious whispers and the almost sighs of relief in the communities of refugees and legal immigrants once it became known that the gunman was white.

Almost, because the next question became why this was not considered an act of terror? Is it because he’s white?

I will never be able to fully compehend the worries and the length this group of people have to go to, to keep their patience in the name of the daily discrimination they face.

It is honestly a bigger concern to me that a group of people in Denmark are holdning their breath hoping a perpetrator is white due to the impact it’ll have on those having the same ethnicity as him or her. Even more concerning, how easily a connection to terror, extremism and radicalisation is made by common society and media if this was the case.

On the other hand, stories have surfaced of people voicing their concern on what impact this insidence have on people with mental health issues and their entry into the labour marked.

So many people wants to work and earn their own living but face many more obstacles trying to actually get a job. Mental health issues or any health issues for that matter shouldn’t be something we hide in order to be able to act like a normal person and make a living. It shouldn’t be yet another mountain to climb.

But with the impact this incidense have had on so many of the people being there that day, the issue of people suffering from different mental health issues and their obstacles coming into or back to work has surfaced.

So many companies seems afraid of the relation and the influence any illness will have on a company. While, I do understand that it is a boss’ job to concern him- or herself with the finances.

What if people with health issues in general could’ve been a part of finding a solution instead of disregarding the competences they actually have or could have?

Why on earth this is still a problem in our society baffles me. Why is it that we are as worker-bees should be flexible and even work in spare time, if the same flexibility cannot be considered the other way around?

The image and idea of a “worker-bee” in some workplaces leaves no space for the ordinary citizen with all of his or her health-issues, life and whatsoever. In a matter of fact, sometimes health only becomes an issue because it is made an issue by outstanders. In my view, it seems as if the fear of what could go wrong is what makes it an issue.

The shooting have been the point of departure of many different discussions, but I got to admit that these two are my favourites. It reveals important issues still lingering underneath the surface that needs to be discussed, considered and dealt with.

I just hope that Mr and Mrs Denmark listens and wonder when someone dudge their heads and hide worriyng about their ethnicity and societies comprehension of it.

I hope there’s a boss or two wondering if they could make a difference and take a chance on the next person they meet that does not live up to their expectations of the “perfect worker bee”.

I just hope this can be the point of departure for a change. Let the US fight the fight Pro-/Against gunst and lets deal with whats really the issues: Our comprehension of our next-door neighbour.


My siblings have always ment the world to me. When life and the people in it was unfair, we always had each other. While I admit that being a part of different generations sometimes makes it difficult to connect and stay connected, they are important in my life.

In Denmark every third person considers themselves next of kin to someone with a mental health illness. 61% feels the psychological burden.

Bedre Psykiatri, 2018

8-9 years ago, a lavine began that became impossible to stop. What normally would have been considered young people having fun turned out to be self-medication. Self-medication became psychotic incidences. Psychotic incidences developed into memory loss after treatments, suicide attempts, visits to the psychiatric department, even one time where the police was called to ensure hospitalisation.

How many families is it normal to have a record over how many attempts there have been?

It is difficult being the sister nothing new, but still. It seems to me, with mental health illnesses that there’s never really a way out. It’s always there luring under the surface, threatening to come out and break the quiet moments with hurricanes. At one point we can talk as adults and the next I’ve done something wrong and fire comes down.

Standing on the sideline, watching the circles of denial they almost have to walk before realising where the help might actually be, eats me alive if I allow myself to become a part of the circle-walking. Bottom line is, no one can force help down any one’s throat before they want to be helped.

No one can force any one to stop their destructive behaviours before understanding the ruination of it all.

But where does that leave me? When we find ourselves in between a system that has all the professional help but doesn’t seem to listen and a sibling that seems to not see the issues where does that leave me as the sister?

Sometimes it seems that family is left doing the job society have educated professionals for. A job the family is not equipped for professionally or emotionally and it feels like being left behind figuring out what others are spending years to learn at universities.

The thing just is, when you are family, you are already involved. You are already deep in all the dirt that is a family. But when are you so involved that it is okay to step in and overwright the story being told by the people involved? When is it time to step out of the way, recognise that everyone are adults and should get a chance to go their on their own?

In the end, you don’t learn how to cook by being served the finished meal.

Some cheasy quote someone once made up, but quite fitting for the purpose
Photo by Art_of_ROSH on Unsplash

Photo by Art_of_ROSH on Unsplash

Life took a drastic turn for me and my siblings when our dad died 7 years ago. He passed away while on a holiday in Egypt – a holiday my very generous brother had given him as a present. Little did we know how this one loss would start an avalanche of events in all of our lives.

You see, me and my siblings are three very different, yet on some levels similar people. Thus, we also had three very different ways of taking care of our grief. And while we also had to learn how to make grief a part of life, mental health issues started to surface in my siblings lives as well.

The past seven years we’ve had to deal with a lot of different terms of way they act and find explanations to those that did not necessarily fit the people my sister and brother were and are. Because, sometimes it is not my brother or my sister acting, but that something inside them telling them to go against their common nature. And on that note, one thing is fighting against things your body is physically trying to express, another thing is, when you can’t seem to trust your own mind and psyche.

In all of this, my siblings are growing to become two very strong, independent people who in their own ways are handling whatever is thrown at them with grace and dignity, knowing the strength of asking for help and getting to know when is it themselves acting and when is it that mental illness inside of them speaking. Seeing these two people grow up with seemingly all odds against them and still becoming the best versions they can be is an awestriking experience knowing that their fight against themselves along with everything else.

But here am I. The healthy one. And it’s not that I don’t love my family or that they could do anything different. But when everyone around you are fighting battles against themselves and is in need of extra attention due to their mental wellbeing, one thought has started to surface within me.

What about me?

I am healthy, yeah. And, yes I am strong enough to carry a little bit extra. But sometimes I am looked towards as if I don’t need the extra attention every once in a while. I am being put in the – “She is healthy, so I don’t need to ask how she is or check up on her or compliment her”-box.

Yesterday, I was calling my mother – who in her own way are trying to find a way to be mentally and physically stable in all the storms she finds herself in at the moment, and I threw a rather “on the edge of being cruel”-joke. “I guess, I have to invent a mental illness to get people’s attention in this family. ” followed up by the laughing comment whether this one joke was made “too soon? ”

But if I for a moment have to look past all the social conducts, how I am supposed to think about it all and the expectations of the strong elder sister, I find it hard to overlook the feeling of being so much alone.

I feel like standing very much alone on top of Mount Everest not knowing who I can count on to catch me? I find myself moving in the shadows of my siblings illnesses trying not to be in the way of them getting the help and attention they need.

I know one of my siblings will hate reading this, because this one already struggles with the seemingly need of getting all of this attention in order to become a healthier version of oneself. And I’m not trying to destroy this process.

However, I can’t help but wonder, when the unthinkable, unrelatable crisis hits a family – who takes care of the healthy ones?

I thought I had learned how to create boundaries between it all. Where my role as the big-sis comes with a strong mind, understanding and a shoulder begins and where my life as a human being who has needs as well gets a role too.

But sometimes the two intertwine and get mixed-up. Sometimes I have to be the stable, understanding Big-Sis without being any of it underneath it all. It can get overwhelming having to surpress one’s own needs in order to hold another ones.

When is it okay to step back to gain stable ground again? When should I be the stable, understanding family-member without showing the chaos on the inside?