Cat's story: Living with premenstrual dysphoric disorder
I have lived with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) since I was 13, but I was only diagnosed at 27. For over 10 years I had been diagnosed as depressed and in and out of community mental health departments. After stopping the Pill and having a baby aged 21, my hormones went crazy and I suffered pre- and postnatal depression. In the years that followed I began noticing a pattern to my moods and depression. At times, I thought I really was severely mentally ill. I always had PMS, but I realised that my worst times happened when I was due on my period. My PMS was so severe that it had begun...
Alexa's Story: Managing anger and learning parenting skills
Alexa attends our Young Mums support group.
Jamie's story: Running for better mental health
Jamie has found running to be invaluable in the fight against anxiety.
Bea's Story: The Benefits of Exercise Therapy
Bea is 43 and hadÂ been suffering from anxiety and depression for several years before being referred to the Active Lifestyles Exercise Referral Scheme. She credits the programme as the catalyst for her recovery. "At my low point, around October 2002, I was very ill and debilitated. I'm a graduate and I've worked in business and management, but I was homeless and had been socially housed in a completely different area. For about a year, I might have had interaction once a week â my mammoth task was to go out and make sure I had enough benefits or electricity, or to see a doctor. Â In the...
Sue's Story: Managing Bipolar Disorder
My symptoms started when I was 15 years old. During my teens and twenties, I put my feelings down to normal teenage stuff like hormones and exams. I repeatedly went to my GP but nothing was done. I also moved a few times and at one point my medical history was lost, which didn't help. I can't remember when I received my diagnosis but I was in my thirties at the time. The GP I was seeing at the time for depression (and who I still see now) referred me to a community psychiatric nurse who picked up that I was experiencing mania as well as depression. I then got referred to a psychiatrist and...
Albert's story: Talking about friendships, relationships and mental illness
Albert is 55 years old. He has experienced severe depression and also has schizoaffective Disorder and a social phobia which he now manages through a combination of medical treatment and family support. There's a history of mental illness in my family although it wasn't known until after my mother's suicide in 1986. I have had two major bouts of depression , which began during a non-physical relationship with a woman at work. The relationship became too complicated and resulted in me walking out of work and having two months off with depression. Eight months after I returned to work, I...
Jack's story: The Mental Health Foundation's dementia self-help group
Jack has recently been diagnosed by my GP as having early stage Alzheimer's.
James K's Story: Running a Marathon to Manage the Stresses of Daily Life
"I find running empties my mind."
Kelly M's story: Exercise helps me to channel my emotions and keeps me focused
I've always been involved in sport and exercise from a young age. Throughout all the endless doses of medication, group therapy sessions, one-to-one chats with professionals and general health related interventions, exercise has been the one constant thing that has kept me feeling sane and safe. With all the ups and downs I've had in my life, taking me through depression, alcohol and drug abuse, anorexia, anxiety and finally being diagnosed with bipolar in 2009, I've always found myself involved in some form of exercise, whether it be playing rugby, running or training in the gym. To put it...
Saira's Story: Exercising to Manage Depression and Physical Pain
"I am an unemployed single mum of one. I have suffered with back and shoulder problems for nearly 10 years, from a couple of years before becoming pregnant with my daughter." "A year after giving birth, my physical health deteriorated dramatically when I developed a chronic pain in my left foot, for which I was given an unsuccessful steroid injection. This was the beginning of around three years of chronic pain in my left foot, ankle and knee where my whole left leg felt like a dead limb but immensely painful, making having a good night's sleep impossible. In pain and desperation I started...