Peer support

Becky stubbornly refused to seek help or confide in anyone, so it was only when an acquaintance forced her to talk that she began to turn things around…

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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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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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Safa found it particularly difficult not having an understandable explanation for the depression affecting her, and at one stage also battled with an eating disorder.

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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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A homophobic upbringing meant Craig struggled to come out to his parents and to fully accept himself, leading eventually to drug and alcohol addiction. Inpatient rehab helped him return to uni

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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After suffering serious physical abuse from an alcoholic mother and losing his home, Pete has had to fight hard for his education and is embarking on his first year at uni after successfully completing a college Access course…

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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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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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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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