“I first became depressed when I was 14 from not coping with the pressure of studying for exams. At my lowest, I was unable to communicate, became housebound, and was constantly suicidal. During that time, it was only through thinking of my family and the pain I would inflict that stopped me from becoming successful with my suicidal attempts.
The turning point for me was when I met a counsellor in my 20s who also had lived experience of depression but was successful in her recovery. It wasn’t until I saw someone who understood what I was going through, that gave me the hope I could overcome my challenges. My counsellor was the living proof that it was possible for me to be well again. I saw her a few times a week, where she taught me cognitive therapy techniques and helped me work through my issues. I would also journal every day as she said it would help me build self-awareness and find joy again.
Even though I still have to make a conscious effort to be happy every day. I remain a functioning, well person for over ten years now. My message to anyone suffering with mental health challenges is to "Never give up, happiness is possible!
#BeautifulMinds is a series of raw and honest stories from people sharing their lived experience with mental health in New Zealand. Published with permission. We hope these stories capture the diversity of how mental health affects different people and you can be inspired by their journey towards mental wellbeing. Clearhead’s mission is to destigmatise mental health through raising awareness and encouraging people to feel it is ok to seek help early by giving them the tools to do so. Sign up now to use the platform, it is free to do so!
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