By Samantha De Bono

The word ‘depression’ is, at times, incorrectly used to describe feeling miserable or down, but depression is much more than having a shitty day, or week, it’s about falling down a hole and not knowing how to get back out and often not knowing how the hell you fell down the hole in the first place. Those of us who have gone through depression at any time in our lives, knows without doubt, what an exceptionally scary place it is to be.

I see clients suffering every day with the awful feeling of hopelessness and helplessness that depression brings and my heart aches for them because I know what they are going through.  I know how it feels to hate yourself for not feeling grateful for the good things in your life, when there are people so much worse off. I know how it feels to wake up every morning in the hope that depression has left and given you your life back.  But I also know that when I suffered with depression in my 20’s, I fell so deeply because I believed it controlled me, I believed I had no say in the matter and that terrified me. It sent me spiraling further and further into my self loathing. I felt weak and pathetic, I didn’t recognise myself anymore.  I thought the me that once was, was gone for ever.

Like me all those years ago, people suffering with depression often believe there is nothing they can do to help themselves. That is not the case at all.  Once I learned about depression and myself and the link between the two, I was able to take control of my life again by taking proactive and deliberate steps to get help.  I went to my GP and started taking antidepressants, I’m aware that antidepressants may not be everyone’s preferred course of action, but for me they helped clear the fog in my mind which in turn helped me to see other pathways open to me like counselling, exercise and healthy eating.

I also learned my triggers for depression and what put me at particular risk of heading downwards again, I watched for signs in myself that I could be moving in that direction.  I began to detect what my vulnerabilities were and learned strategies through counselling to deal with them.  It gave me faith in my abilities again and I liked myself for it.

I ignored unhelpful “help” like “smile and the world smiles with you…” and “come on, don’t be down, you’ve got so much to be happy about” they only served to make me hate myself more.  Instead I spoke to my counsellor every week and learnt strategies to manage my mood.  Just learning to forgive and accept myself did wonders and understanding that depression was not about weakness, it was about having the strength to go through it and come out the other side.

Since then I have never gone back to the depth of despair I felt during that time, but I will never take my mental wellbeing for granted. Even when depression lifts, it’s important to manage your mood with self-awareness and skill. It’s a useful life skill for everyone, not just those prone to depression.

Therapy can work wonders and I would recommend it for anyone going through depression or any difficult period of their life. If you think about it logically, how can you effectively treat yourself when you don’t know much about what you’re up against?  Why struggle alone when there’s help out there from professional people who know what you’re going through.

If you are struggling and would like help please contact me on 07588 931 401 or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Take it from me, you can beat it and not only that, life can be better than it ever was before.