Counselling

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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Mike relates his depression back to living as a black child in an area of the country with very little cultural diversity and experiencing a lot of bullying.

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Severe bullying at school and betrayal by a best friend meant that Ben came to hate himself and found it very hard to trust others. He came close to suicide but is proud of building his life back up again.

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Thinking that depression was something which happened to older people, Anna felt ashamed and utterly alone with her feelings.

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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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After bouts of depression during 6th form and at uni, Andy found counselling to be a revelation despite initial scepticism, helping him recognise how earlier experiences had affected him...

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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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When depression hit for a second time, postgraduate student Sarah felt like she couldn't face trying to get better again. Anti-depressants lifted her mood enough for counselling sessions to start making a real difference...

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Growing up as a twin, Keisha struggled to find her own identity and got into the habit of presenting a facade of perfection to hide her depressed feelings. She is starting to learn to open up a bit more to others...

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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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Body images issues and her sister's serious mental health problems led to food problems and depression from Anala's early teens. She resisted taking medication and has only recently started to seek help...

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Low self worth spiralled into depression during Hannah's first year. Anti-depressant medication and a supportive academic department have helped her continue at uni...

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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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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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A high achieving international student with previous anxiety issues, Aron slumped into persistent low mood during an ongoing conflict with a housemate. Counselling has helped him understand better the contributing personal and family dynamics...

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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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Issues contributing to Tony's longstanding low mood include low self-esteem, social phobia, and unresolved gender dysphoria. He has found general counselling useful at times, but feels he needs more concrete advice to be able to move forward...

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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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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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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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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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Nicky was a painfully shy child who was then bullied at secondary school. After many years of self harming in a variety of ways, she was finally able to seek help herself and build a support network at university, including a mentor funded by the Disabled Student's Allowance...

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A family history of depression, problems with parents and bullying at school all made Simon vulnerable to increasingly severe bouts of depression and self harm. Professional help including group counselling has helped him engage with his postgraduate course and a more supportive relationship...

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After a few years experiencing waves of low mood and depression, when he kept asking "what's the point?", Rory recently took the step of starting counselling. He wants to encourage others to seek help sooner than he did, and also recommends the benefits of exercise for lifting mood...

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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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After years of worsening depression due to performance pressures amongst other things, Dean feels that finally seeking help from his GP in the final year of his undergraduate degree was the best thing he ever did. He encourages others to keep trying different options until they find what works for them...

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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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Harry's upbringing was significantly affected by his father's undiagnosed bipolar disorder. His own severe and long-standing depression has been eased mainly through long-term cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) from his university counselling service.

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Racist bullying and isolation brought about severe depression and suicide attempts for Angus, but he now channels his feelings into his creative pursuits and studies and vows to resist the depression so his tormentors will never 'win'.

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Mark was used to avoiding or ridiculing the feelings engendered by his insecure and abusive childhood, mainly through alcohol abuse or large amounts of time spent on video games. Counselling has helped him start to acknowledge and deal with his feelings when they occur.

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