Eating disorder

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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