Relationship problems

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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A family history of depression, problems with parents and bullying at school all made Simon vulnerable to increasingly severe bouts of depression and self harm. Professional help including group counselling has helped him engage with his postgraduate course and a more supportive relationship...

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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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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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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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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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