Claire's story: overcoming severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder

I was diagnosed with severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder after being raped shortly after my 16th birthday.

I have struggled with self-harm ever since, taken numerous overdoses and had many hospital admissions.

I had buried the pain so deep inside and felt so ashamed that I despised myself and destroyed my body.

In January this year, out of the blue, I received a phone call telling me the person who raped me had been accused again of the same crime on someone else. I decided I had to go forward - I needed to do what I should've done so long ago and I thought it would ease my pain to let it out eventually. I sat for 3 hours doing a video statement and it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

I broke down. I ended up in a psychiatric ward for 3 months whilst the case was on-going. I had only been discharged a week when I was told the case would go no further as there wasn't sufficient evidence. Victim support tried to console me but I was inconsolable.

I had gone through it all for nothing.

I blamed myself that I shouldn't have left it so long.

I spiralled into the deepest depression and tried to take my life.

I ended up in hospital on a drip to save me.

I was then admitted to a psychiatric ward for another 3 months.

I could see no hope, I wanted to be gone. Eventually I learned to open up to staff on the ward and I had the most amazing named nurse who explained my new added diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. I started new medication and I learned how to cope with overwhelming feelings.

I am now out of hospital and have a brilliant support network that help me every day to come to terms with what has happened to me.

I smile again, I am working to a promotion, I have learnt to be kind to myself and have so many ambitions for the future.

I want to help others who feel they have nowhere to turn and have applied to work with Samaritans.

If you fight hard enough you can feel happy again. I promise you.