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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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Fayola believes that being a sensitive, emotionally tuned-in person makes her vulnerable to the low mood and depression which has affected her since her mid-teens.

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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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Having never had significant low feelings before, when Charlie felt low after some stress in his A-level year he hid how he felt from friends and family, but found himself in a worsening downward spiral. When he finally confided in someone it made a big difference...

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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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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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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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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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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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Her parents' early divorce and mother's ongoing remoteness have left Jenny isolated and lonely since childhood, and triggered depression in early adolescence which she still struggles with, but focusing on the positive helps...

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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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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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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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PhD student Dave learnt to bottle up his feelings at an early age, leaving him vulnerable to peer pressure and lacking his own identity. Depression in his second year led to him dropping out and starting on a new course after clarifying his life values and building more supportive relationships with friends and family...

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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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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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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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Hospitalised at 12 for suicidal intent after her father's unacknowledged mental illness made home life unbearable, Mina gradually took control over the depression which still sometimes affects her and now describes herself as a basically happy person.

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