Self-harm

Elena is still working on overcoming her depression, but she is no longer concerned about suicide and feels that she has learnt how to manage the depression better.

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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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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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A homophobic upbringing meant Craig struggled to come out to his parents and to fully accept himself, leading eventually to drug and alcohol addiction. Inpatient rehab helped him return to uni

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After a tough childhood in the Ukraine, Tomas was suddenly moved to the UK as a teenager and had difficulties relating to his new stepfather and adapting in school. Depression led to a suicide attempt and has affected his studies...

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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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Tasha had noticed a regular pattern of mood swings during her teens, but was only recently diagnosed officially with bipolar disorder. She has learnt self-help strategies to supplement medication...

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Racism and confusion over her mixed-race identity gave depression a way in to Leigh's life. Grief over a miscarriage more recently 'pushed her to the edge', but she has found several creative strategies for moving forward...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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A stressful move from primary to secondary school for Emma led to a rapid loss of confidence and vulnerability to depression. Struggling alone she found her mental health increasingly deteriorating into OCD and psychosis. Inpatient care from the adolescent psychiatric team helped her back on track...

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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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Bullying, a bad accident, and a mother with mental illness contributed to Martha's depression and suicide attempt at 16. Professional help through the mental health services have helped her learn coping strategies to manage her overwhelming feelings and give up a variety of self harming behaviours...

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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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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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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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Harry's upbringing was significantly affected by his father's undiagnosed bipolar disorder. His own severe and long-standing depression has been eased mainly through long-term cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) from his university counselling service.

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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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