Acceptance

Having always thought needing to talk to someone made you ‘weak’, Darren now says that going for counselling was the best thing he ever did…

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Aged 30 and a student for the first time, after a difficult childhood and lifelong bouts of depression, Tonya feels on top of her depression much of the time – though it can still affect her on occasion.

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Elena is still working on overcoming her depression, but she is no longer concerned about suicide and feels that she has learnt how to manage the depression better.

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Bullying at school set Katie off in a downward spiral towards a suicide attempt at 17. Following a bout of chronic fatigue syndrome she has learnt what helps her combat both CFS and depression…

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After a tough childhood in the Ukraine, Tomas was suddenly moved to the UK as a teenager and had difficulties relating to his new stepfather and adapting in school. Depression led to a suicide attempt and has affected his studies…

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Missing home at the start of his first year, Daniel found himself increasingly severely affected by low mood triggered by unhappiness on his course and relationship difficulties. He is proud of successfully tackling things without using anti-depressants…

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Tasha had noticed a regular pattern of mood swings during her teens, but was only recently diagnosed officially with bipolar disorder. She has learnt self-help strategies to supplement medication…

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A shy person from a close-knit family, James found the move away to his second choice university and course triggered a downward spiral into depression. He hopes the story of his experience will help others challenge their resistance to seeking help…

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Years of bullying at school led to social anxiety and depression for Megan, who found socialising and making new friends at uni particularly difficult. Having the courage to tell someone how she was feeling helped her seek further support…

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Racism and confusion over her mixed-race identity gave depression a way in to Leigh’s life. Grief over a miscarriage more recently ‘pushed her to the edge’, but she has found several creative strategies for moving forward…

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Pressured by his parents to study medicine, Hiresh procrastinated and withdrew into isolation and depression. Now enrolled in an arts-based masters, he is challenging depressed habits with the support of his boyfriend…

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After several separate episodes of depression and anxiety starting when his parents split up, part time postgraduate student Will has learnt to accept his depression as a part of him that he needs to learn to live with and manage..

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An international PhD student, Alma made a serious suicide attempt in her teens and has battled with depression for most of her life. Intensive therapy has given her tools to help manage her depression and live productively…

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Emily doesn’t feel she has a right to label herself as depressed, despite the persistently self-critical thoughts arising from childhood experiences of being left out of groups at school and a growing sense of being a ‘black sheep’ in her family…

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Both Lucy’s parents have had bouts of depression and her GP says she has ‘bipolar’ tendencies. Her depression and self harm started young, and although she feels she will never be totally free from it she feels she can live a good life and not let it rule her…

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Both Lucy’s parents have had bouts of depression and her GP says she has ‘bipolar’ tendencies. Her depression and self harm started young, and although she feels she will never be totally free from it she feels she can live a good life and not let it rule her…

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During Iona’s most recent episode of depression she needed to plan strategies for keeping herself safe when her suicidal impulses felt overwhelming. Telling others how she felt, medication and CBT have all helped her back onto a more even keel…

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Social isolation and a sudden bereavement triggered depression for Rees on his year abroad, spiralling into increasing anxiety and sudden self harm. He is re-attempting his final year, having finally opened up to his parents…

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A tendency to social isolation and harsh self criticism left Ed vulnerable to spiralling depression, culminating in an existential crisis. From this low point he began to seek out the meaning in life, broke his isolation and found many strategies for keeping depression at bay…

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Depression runs in Gina’s family and bullying throughout school left her with low self esteem and vulnerable to depression and self harm. After starting well, she relapsed at uni but sought help and has stabilised through counselling and medication…

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Coming out as gay early in secondary school added to the effects of a turbulent family life for Dani, who turned to daily self harm to cope with her self loathing and depression. Counselling and the support of friends and her partner has helped her turn things around…

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Postgrad international student Joshua has battled insecurity and self-loathing developed over a lifetime of comparison with a high-achieving elder sibling, but in recent years has started to replace depressive rumination with compassionate self-understanding…

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Inability to reconcile his gay sexual orientation and family strife contributed to John’s low mood as a teenager and recurrent depressive episodes later. Self acceptance, actively seeking meaningful purpose in life and other self help strategies have all been useful strategies…

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After an existential crisis at 14, when he started questioning the meaning of life, Rick descended into a downward spiral of depression. Naming the problem and talking to friends, parents and professionals helped him get back on track…

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Mature foreign student Jana suddenly experienced panic attacks while working full time and commuting long hours to college to study for her foundation degree. She found CBT self-help strategies the most useful in moving forward and is now pursuing her studies at university…

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A stressful move from primary to secondary school for Emma led to a rapid loss of confidence and vulnerability to depression. Struggling alone she found her mental health increasingly deteriorating into OCD and psychosis. Inpatient care from the adolescent psychiatric team helped her back on track…

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Zoe’s long-standing habit of perfectionism and the resulting anxiety and self-criticism made her vulnerable to depression, which was eventually triggered by a build up of stress over unpleasant accommodation. She suddenly felt cut off from reality, but medication and self help have helped her back on track…

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Joelle believes that the pressure she put on herself to be the best at everything contributed to the sudden anxiety and panic disorder she experienced during her GCSEs. This in turn led to depression and a missed year of school. She was able to turn things around step by step, once she made the decision to do so for herself…

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Isobel’s childhood was hugely impacted by having to cope with a single parent mum with severe depression. Counselling at uni helped her acknowledge and come to terms with the impact this had. She has many tips for self help strategies to combat both depression and the legacy of childhood difficulties…

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Low moods associated with PMT intensified into full-blown depression for PhD student Lauren. She found antidepressants and counselling helpful in moving forward, and would also recommend mindfulness meditation.

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It took Rob a while to admit to himself that he was depressed, and to find the courage to see his doctor for help. Counselling has helped him realise the roots of his depressive thoughts in his difficult childhood, and self help has further boosted his recovery.

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Depression crept up on Luke after he suddenly found himself ill with chronic fatigue. As well as using self-help techniques he also found counselling helpful, despite having believed he wasn’t the ‘type’ for it.

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International PhD student Yasmine describes depression as a sign to oneself that things need to change. Medication, counselling and a determined commitment to working on her own wellbeing have turned things around for her after a serious bout of clinical depression.

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