Moderate depression

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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Moving to a new country allowed Kristy finally to shake off the depressed habits she had got stuck in...

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Tan Huan survived strongly suicidal thoughts by working hard to find meaning in his life in the face of difficult experiences, and by relying on the support of his family.

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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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Thinking that depression was something which happened to older people, Anna felt ashamed and utterly alone with her feelings.

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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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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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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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A high achieving international student with previous anxiety issues, Aron slumped into persistent low mood during an ongoing conflict with a housemate. Counselling has helped him understand better the contributing personal and family dynamics...

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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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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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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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Sharon overcame a history including teenage pregnancy and an abusive marriage when a health visitor noticed her depression and encouraged her to join the local Sure Start programme, gradually building confidence so that she now aims to complete a degree...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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After years of worsening depression due to performance pressures amongst other things, Dean feels that finally seeking help from his GP in the final year of his undergraduate degree was the best thing he ever did. He encourages others to keep trying different options until they find what works for them...

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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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Depression crept up on Luke after he suddenly found himself ill with chronic fatigue. As well as using self-help techniques he also found counselling helpful, despite having believed he wasn't the 'type' for it.

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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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Mark was used to avoiding or ridiculing the feelings engendered by his insecure and abusive childhood, mainly through alcohol abuse or large amounts of time spent on video games. Counselling has helped him start to acknowledge and deal with his feelings when they occur.

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