Alexa's Story: Managing anger and learning parenting skills
Alexa attends our Young Mums support group.
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...
Kayla's story: Living with borderline personality disorder
If I were to tell you that I had an illness that affected only 2% of the population, and which killed 1 in 10 of those who had it, what would your reaction be? And how would that reaction change when I told you that it was a mental illness known as borderline personality disorder (BPD)? BPD is one of the most stigmatised and misunderstood mental health conditions and its devastating effect can be found in a thousand untold stories by those who live with it, those who exist in a world where no matter how loudly they scream, no-one seems to hear their voice. In 2007, I was pulled out of a lake...
Karen's story: Overcoming depression with exercise
I'm a dance fitness instructor and I just love it! I have a great range of people come to my classes from all walks of life, all ages, and of all abilities. Many people have told me how much they have lost weight and felt better since taking classes. But dance isn't just about fitness and losing weight, it can also help mentally as well as physically. A few years ago I was, like many others, struggling with money, work and my physical health (I have carpal tunnel syndrome and Raynaud's disease) and my depression started to rear its head again. My depression first started many years ago after...
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.
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...
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...
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...
Jamie's story: Running for better mental health
Jamie has found running to be invaluable in the fight against anxiety.
James K's Story: Running a Marathon to Manage the Stresses of Daily Life
"I find running empties my mind."