My experience with depression – University Mental Health Day

University Mental Health Day on March 7 2019, is an opportunity for staff and students to break the stigma of mental health. We all have mental health and this will fluctuate from day to day. Mental health exists on a continuum. We can promote good well-being with small steps in our day to day life. For more information on University Mental Health Day, please visit the website.

One of our students has shared their experience of depression to help break the stigma and their steps towards better well-being.








After suffering from worsening periods of depression over many years I now feel I am managing it fairly successfully…

“The key is becoming self-aware.”

I received a number of treatments and I have found that a mixture of CBT and mindfulness techniques works best for me. Some of these are specific to my own mental processes and have been developed after being able to recognise my triggers. The key is becoming self-aware and this may take more time for some people than others.

“I focus on living in the moment.”

I have learned to focus on living in the moment. This stops my mind from running away with negative thoughts that end up crowding my mind and obscuring the reality of every day life. I have achieved this by regular, daily exercises for the mind.

“Train your brain to focus on the present because that is what is real.”

I make sure that at least once a day I take time to stop and appreciate something real. It can be anything but I tend to stop while I am out walking the dogs and take in my surroundings for a few minutes. I feel the sun, or wind, (or even rain), on my skin and think about my breathing, the ground under my feet. I can then extend this to appreciating my surroundings, trees, fields, etc. If you feel you don’t have time for this how about just taking a minute to sit on the edge of the bed in the morning and contemplate your breathing, the floor beneath your feet, the temperature, sounds and anything else your senses communicate.

The point to this is to train your brain to focus on the present because that is what is real.

Using these techniques I have managed to keep my depression at bay for the last 2 years or so. Not for everybody but it works for me.


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