Family support

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Mia became addicted to self harming as a way to release intense emotional pain. She has since found other ways to cope with her feelings, such as talking to people she can trust or writing her feelings down...

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Zoe's long-standing habit of perfectionism and the resulting anxiety and self-criticism made her vulnerable to depression, which was eventually triggered by a build up of stress over unpleasant accommodation. She suddenly felt cut off from reality, but medication and self help have helped her back on track...

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Joelle believes that the pressure she put on herself to be the best at everything contributed to the sudden anxiety and panic disorder she experienced during her GCSEs. This in turn led to depression and a missed year of school. She was able to turn things around step by step, once she made the decision to do so for herself...

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