Social exclusion

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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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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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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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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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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A traumatic childhood of deprivation and abuse left Daya vulnerable to severe depression from an early age. With a history of troubled relationships, self harm and suicide attempts, she eventually found sanctuary in a therapeutic community which gave the support she needed to turn her life around.

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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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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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