Laura, 21, UK

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“I’m a student mental health nurse. 

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was 16. My mum & dad took me to the doctors and I was put on medication and that was it. No referral to CAMHS or anything. 

A few months after I, unfortunately, developed serotonin syndrome. So, I was taken off of my tablets and that was it. Nothing else. I actually naively thought that I wasn’t mentally ill anymore because I wasn’t getting any help. I thought the life that I was living was just going to be a normal thing for me. 

I lived in hell for 2 years, I was 18 when I eventually received the help that I desperately needed. But until then, I lived everyday wishing I didn’t exist. I’d be angry because I’d wake up in the morning, and I’d be angry at my loved ones because they were the only reason that I couldn’t take my own life. I despised them for keeping me here, in my dark, clouded world. 

As I said when I finally received help when I was 18, thanks to my amazing new GP for making an emergency referral to my CMHT. Firstly I was given a psychiatrist (who I am still seeing today at the age of 22!), then a mental health nurse, who was a woman I never knew could exist. She had a beautiful soul and a careful mind, I absolutely adore her! And last but not least.. My psychologist. There are no words to describe this woman apart from as sassy as f**k! She was fabulous and she helped me find natural self again! Without this team, it’s more than easy to say that I wouldn’t be here now. I would’ve given up my fight!

Everyday is still a struggle! But I wake up in the morning and I’m ready to fight! I’m on two types of antidepressants, an antipsychotic and a benzodiazepine. So with my forever stronger growing mind, my mental health team and my cocktail of tablets, I’m finding myself, and, a strength that I never knew I had, everyday.

Of course, I’m no superhero, some days, I wake up and I’m exhausted. My mind can’t fight that day. The depression is fighting back stronger, the anxiety is churning in my stomach, I know it’s going to be a bad day, and I know I won’t have the energy to fight this battle. So, simply, I don’t. I’ll get up out of bed to make sure I eat and drink, and then I’ll do what I can to relax as much as possible! Even if it means a day in bed watching some movies or listening to my favourite artists. I’m never angry at myself, I know I’m not weak, I just need a break from fighting this internal war! And that’s absolutely fine!

It’s ok not to be ok! It doesn’t matter how far into recovery you are! Your mind and body is doing an amazing thing, working so hard behind the scenes, and you don’t even realise it! So let it have that one day, or two, just to catch a breath. Be kind to yourself!

Now, I have this new found confidence, and I’m working with an organisation called Time to Change Wales. I travel around North/Mid Wales giving talks to a huge number of people! Be it in colleges or even places of work, to help spread awareness about mental health illnesses, and to help abolish the stigma and discrimination that comes along with it!

You’re never alone and you’re so strong! Keep being you and keep fighting!”


For more information on depression check out BetterHelp






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