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Spreading Awareness

Massage for Mental Health is an organisation which has been formed to help spread awareness of mental health issues whilst offering help, support and relief to those affected through the use of Holistic Therapy, primarily in the form of massage, but Reiki and counselling are also available if required.

As an Anxiety sufferer myself I struggled for many years before discovering the healing power of holistic therapy which when combined with self-development completely helped to turn my life around and provided me with the peace of mind that can be so difficult to obtain but yet when discovered leads to immense feelings of relief and healing. I would like to share my skills and knowledge with others, so they may too gain relief and hopefully the strength and insight needed to help make a real difference to their own lives as the therapeutic power of human touch can never be underestimated, it not only helps us feel accepted and cared for, it gives us a sense of belonging helping to establish stability and trust.

The reason I have decided to set up this organisation is to help spread awareness of mental health and how it can so easily effect anyone of us, this is nothing new for me as since I was a child I was always passionate about trying to make a real difference and even after spending years working as a therapist I felt I needed to do more but due to my own struggles, it took all the energy I had just to make it through each day and therefore I just was not able to get that clarity I was searching for. Thankfully I have now finally attained it and as a result I feel this is the right time to move forward with my vision. Recent efforts such as the heads together campaign have begun to open up the discussion around this topic and helped reduce the stigma as many people are still afraid to admit they are struggling for fear of judgement or prejudice, which is so terribly sad because ultimately as human beings we are not designed to be perfect which is why we are all connected in some way with our own individual flaws and attributes which forms our genetic makeup and makes us completely unique.

Anxiety and Depression are the most common mental health disorders in Britain, affecting almost a quarter of the population. Occasional Anxiety is a normal state of mind for most people, however those who suffer from disorders frequently have intense and persistent worry and fear about daily situations, which will often involve repeated episodes and sudden feelings of terror that can reach a peak very quickly which if not recognised can lead to panic attacks within minutes.

Anxiety in children has risen by 48% and 1 in 4 adults will experience a mental health condition every year, which is estimated to cause one fifth of days absent from work. It is a growing concern and at some point in our lives we ourselves will either personally suffer from a mental health condition or know of someone who has been affected in some way, it can be something as simple as a change in circumstances that triggers a reaction within our mind and body or it can stem from childhood and the symptoms can be relatively mild so it often goes undetected or in more serious cases it can lead to panic attacks or even suicidal thoughts. There are many different forms of Anxiety and it can be very difficult for those affected to know how to manage the changing emotions which are experienced, perhaps due to denial on their part or a fear of how society will portray them, as mental health is still a subject that is not widely understood or discussed and as a result the trauma is then suppressed and left unresolved in our bodies leading to a highly sensitive and emotional nature which often overreacts to simple everyday situations.

• Anxiety
• Stress
• Seasonal effective disorder
• Depression
• Self harming
• Paranoia
• Anger
• Eating disorders
• Sleep problems
• Bi-polar
• Drug and alcohol abuse
• Personality disorder
• Hearing voices
• Dissociation disorders
• Body dysmorphic disorder
• Hoarding
• Schizophrenia
• Obsessive compulsive behaviour

• Excessive worry which is difficult to control
• Constantly feeling tired and over whelmed
• Negative thoughts about self, low self-esteem
• Feeling judged, needing constant reassurance
• Feelings of irritability and restlessness
• Irregular heart palpitations/tightness across chest
• Problems with concentration and memory
• Headaches and aching joints
• Churning feeling in stomach
• Panic attacks/ acute sensitivity- body shaking
• Sweating or hot flushes
• Insomnia and grinding teeth at night

• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Heart disease
• Drug misuse
• Diabetes
• Thyroid problems
• Respiratory disorders

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Who is eligible for Holistic Therapy treatments?

Treatments are available for all those who are currently suffering from a mental health condition and their carers with the intention to provide release from stress and discomfort in the body whilst providing peace of mind and internal balance.

Is there a cost and how do I request an appointment?

There is no cost for the treatment but I would please ask for you to donate your own personal contribution directly to one of your chosen charities listed below so they can continue to help others. Remember Charities rely on donations so they can continue their invaluable work helping people to regain control of their lives again.

To request an appointment please contact me directly. My aim is predominantly to spread awareness whilst bringing relief and a sense of wellbeing through the therapy I will provide, in addition to supporting the charities financially. I would therefore request that if you feel this is something that could benefit you or someone you know to please share your story, to you it may seem irrelevant but to someone else it could potentially make a huge difference or even save a life. All the information you provide will remain completely confidential and if you choose anonymous.

Telephone: 07711 501055
Facebook: Your Inner Glow
Instagram: yourinnerglowtherapy

What Charities Should I Donate to?

All the charities listed below have personal significance for me hence they have been chosen to benefit. Please choose the charity below which resonates the most with you and donate directly using the details shown through the website. 


We work to relieve and support those living with Anxiety and Anxiety based depression by providing information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services including 1:1 therapy. We work regularly with external agencies and healthcare professionals to improve services for those living with Anxiety and also campaign to raise awareness of the conditions. We can provide support and help if you’ve been diagnosed with or suspect you may have an Anxiety condition. With our help you can start to recover your confidence and forget your fear. CLICK HERE TO DONATE

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Whatever you are going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. We’re here, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We’re working together to make sure fewer people die by suicide. Every 6 seconds we respond to a call for help, no judgement, no pressure, we’re here for anyone who needs someone. In addition to the services we provide, an important part of our work is understanding and challenging the social elements that impact suicide. CLICK HERE TO DONATE

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The benefits of massage for mental health sufferers and why it is so essential

Emotional wellbeing gives us a purpose in life, allowing us to feel happiness and joy, due to an increased self-realization our levels of Stress and Anxiety are lowered as our self-esteem increases leading to more positive relationships and a sense of optimism and recognising our strengths and abilities.

Massage therapy offers many benefits but those specific to improving mental health include:

- Calms the mind, relieving tension and stress and promotes feelings of well being
- Raises awareness by connecting body and mind and improving the immune system
- Increases circulation and production of feel good hormones (Oxytocin, Serotonin, Dopamine, Endorphins)
- Decreases headaches, fatigue, muscular discomfort and sleep disorders

Additional ways to increase self-awareness and promote healing include:

• Practising yoga to release tension and promote deeper and more effective breathing.
• Visualisation using the imagination to focus on being in a calmer environment.
• Meditation allows the mind and body to relax and become more balanced and focussed
Emotional tapping negative thoughts brought to the surface of the body then simply released by tapping
Sound Therapy music which resonates with you is healing, drum beats and singing bowls are helpful aids
Essential oils offer a variety of benefits to restore relaxation, add to the bath, a burner or massage medium
• Incense ideal to not only cleanse negativity but encourage a sense of well being
Exercise to release endorphins, walking in nature is especially recommended, dancing is also therapeutic
Diet making the necessary changes to remove processed food, excess sugar and alcohol
Sleep maintaining a regular sleep pattern and ensuring we get enough. 8 hours per night is the optimum.
Progressive muscle relaxation alternating tightening then releasing various muscle groups to lessen tension and help recognise when muscles are restricted.
Socialising with family and friends so very important to have that contact with people who care

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My aim is to continue spreading awareness and enabling those who are vulnerable to gain support and relief through my work as a therapist, whilst supporting the charities and the essential work they do.

Due to my current personal and professional commitments this is a project I will undertake as often as I am able with the hope that I can encourage more therapists to come on board so I can expand, as it’s so important to give back if we are able to do so. I am currently looking at the possibilities of writing a book with all proceeds going to charity and am engaging with the relevant organisations so I may be able to give talks and presentations in the future.

Sources of further information A social network working to change the way we think and act about mental health problems. There are also other useful organisations listed all of whom offer help, advice and support.

Mental health charities work towards ensuring that people feel secure in their everyday lives and have the practical skills and support to live a better life.

Let me know how I can help you, I look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Warmest wishes

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“Compassion without action is just an observation”,Daryl Reed

Stories from those affected

This is my own story, I have been completely open and honest as it is my hope that together with the additional ones shown below from others who have experienced Mental health concerns that the words will help those who are effected reading this realize that you are not alone and hopefully give them the strength and confidence to seek the necessary help and support that is so essential and also encourage you to share your own story in the hope that it may help someone else one day who may be experiencing something very similar as it is often a very lonely and frightening place to be when you feel isolated, misunderstood and feel the pressure of the walls closing in around you.

I would like to personally thank all those who contributed through their stories and communications. I was incredibly moved by the response and with permission granted below are shown some of your own stories. If you would like your story to be shown please get in contact.

Mental health conditions are very real and what is needed is understanding and acceptance and not criticism or unfair judgement as if you are not personally experiencing it yourself it can be very difficult to understand and accept how difficult it can be for those directly affected, which is why raising awareness is so essential.

Mental health is an issue very close to my own heart as since childhood I've suffered from Anxiety which has impacted on both my professional and personal life to varying degrees and there were times throughout my life that the emotions I was feeling became almost unbearable as I realised that somehow I was 'different' to my family and peers. I can openly admit I did go to some very dark places previously and often felt isolated and alone despite having a close knit family and large circle of friends.

Growing up I simply dismissed how I was feeling and put my inner struggles down to 'growing pains' however when they did not subside but only increased due to various circumstances and incidents I became more aware of the sensations I was experiencing and was actually relieved when I was able to get help and discovered that I was suffering from Anxiety. I spent so many years hiding how I was feeling from loved ones, I felt embarrassed and confused as to why my body and mind reacted the way it did and was afraid that if I did confide how I really felt I would be judged or ridiculed and so I took the easy option and chose to ignore it, which actually was very easy for me to do due to my outward appearance of being a very confident and vivacious young woman. It's a huge misconception that sufferers of a mental health condition are introverts that's simply not true, mental health can affect any one of us at any time and it was a huge shock to some of my loved ones when I eventually confided in them how I had been feeling as they had only seen my outer shell and not realized what had been happening internally.

Due to my openness , natural desire to help others and low self-esteem I was a human sponge and magnet for emotionally unavailable partners who I allowed to take advantage of my nature as I felt empty within and was deeply self-critical of myself. I craved love from outside sources to fill the void I felt, I honestly believed that I was not important enough to deserve real love and I didn't feel I could accept it and so as a result I was drained of my light and energy whilst I received nothing in return but a general feeling of worthlessness, leaving me feeling emotionally and physically exhausted. My self-belief plummeted and I reached a point where I felt I hit a wall. Too make myself feel better I would comfort eat and therefore my weight fluctuated constantly depending on how I was feeling emotionally. I knew I had to make radical changes as I was punishing myself for allowing these troubled souls to cause me harm both mentally and physically so thus followed a period of 10 years where I chose tremain single whilst I healed internally as I knew that I had to do something radical so I could not only change how I felt about myself but also to give out a different vibration from 'damaged and hurt' as that only attracted the' broken birds' who needed healing and I knew deep down that I was worth so much more but I'd just lost who I was and had to re find me again. Strangely enough my lowest point came with the purchase of my beloved home, which although brought me so much contentment also led to a huge increase of pressure as I felt an over whelming sense of responsibility, especially being a single woman. I've always worked hard but I literally went into over drive, sleeping only 4-5 hours a night, working 7 days a week, I had no life outside my work and obviously my health began to suffer I would have constant heart palpitations, wake up in a sweat throughout the night leading to a constant state of exhaustion and within a year I had lost 4 teeth through grinding. My friends and family expressed concern regularly but it fell on deaf ears as although they meant well as they were concerned for my wellbeing I took it as a personal criticism and a lack of support and as a result felt completely over whelmed throwing myself into my work even more in an effort to regain control . However when my dentist remarked it was the worst case he had seen and if I didn't make the necessary changes soon my health would be seriously affected it was the wakeup call I needed. Today I am so much more aware and despite still working hard I try to balance in a little relaxation now too although old habits are hard to change and I am still working on this but I fully appreciate someone must have been really looking down on me because I continued this pattern for 15 years and how I never got seriously ill and actually the fact I can now tell my story is a miracle in itself.

All this hard work did pay off however as through sheer determination and focus (the only way I could control the constant fear within me) I paid off my mortgage in half the time but at what personal cost and I'm only too aware now of how different the outcome may have been.

Due to taking the time to heal my body and mind over a number of years through a combination of holistic therapies, inner child work and self-development my self-esteem has been completely regained and I am relishing feeling my personal power once more, I am no longer self-critical of my actions but instead feel myself smiling as I realize how far I have come and the complete transformation I have under taken. As a result my Anxiety is now very mild and actually almost undetectable although I am always aware of an undercurrent and so am very careful to avoid triggers which I know will cause concern and the weight is also gradually coming off as my body unwinds from the tight coil it originally was. A huge breakthrough came for me only a few years ago when I discovered tantra and the healing power it can bring to the body and mind, it literally turned my life around from going from a place of darkness to feeling real joy, the transformation I have felt emotionally, physically and spiritually is astounding which is perhaps one of the reasons I am so passionate to preserve the sacred reputation of this life changing therapy and as a result I am very driven to educate people about what it really means and protect it from all the unfair negativity which unfortunately still exists around it, simply due to a lack of understanding or being mis lead by un authentic individuals! The people and connections I have made through my passion are the most honest and beautiful souls I have ever met and have enriched my life beyond belief for which I will be forever grateful. I'm only too aware of the very different person I am today, I now live my life with complete authenticity instead of wearing the mask I previously did and pretending that all was well when it clearly wasn't. I'm completely open emotionally and am no longer afraid to voice what I feel instead of feeling afraid to do so. I finally after all these years feel free and the relief that has brought to my own life and the personal happiness and joy I feel is immeasurable. I've realised that you do not need to suffer in silence, help is available but the first step is always to be honest about your feelings as its only when you can be completely authentic that the real healing can begin and you can become your true self.

Today I attract only positive and loving energy into my life as that is a reflection of how I feel internally about myself and as a result I attract the loving relationships that I deserve. I feel very proud that I was able to overcome the hard ships but still grateful for the invaluable life lessons I learned as a result. My future is now something I am eager and excited to embrace as opposed to being overshadowed by the fear that used to reside within me. If my life experiences and story can make a difference to just one person then for me my own personal battle and the roller coaster of emotions I have experienced as a result will have made my journey completely worthwhile

My story begins when I was sweet 16. I had known Nick, 15 years my senior since I was 6 months old. He was a close family friend, part of an amateur dramatics group. This group of friends was based around one family, they were friends with my parents so I was also invited to events/parties. When I was coming into puberty he started treating me slightly differently, more so when we were alone. Nothing specific just looks, smiles, jokes.

When I was 16 I knew it wasn't just in my head. We were out bowling with our group of friends and it was the happiest day of my life, he secretly held my hand. For the next 3 weeks I was walking around school like a Cheshire cat. I was happy not only did this man want me but I wasn't living in the happiest of households. My parents either didn't speak or argued, my mum stayed for me (the whole family should stay together view). I thought this was my Disney's prince charming coming to rescue me.

We spoke over the internet, he wanted me to get a webcam so we could see each other. He sent me images and wanted me to reciprocate. Every party we'd sneak out, kiss and fool around. When I was 17 we had arranged to sleep together, I wasn't ready but knew this is what 'grown-ups' did and I didn't want to lose him. It was a mission as I was driven and picked up from everywhere.

A month later I told a 'friend' about us and it got back to him, he ended it immediately. I didn't understand why. He blackmailed me and said if I didn't tell everyone that it was all in my head then my parents wouldn't be invited out anymore and they'd lose all their friends. So I did. I still have that false reputation to this day. The silly little girl who makes up stories. Stupidity I still loved him and he started to talk to me again online, He also had started seeing someone else. Saying he wanted to be with me but had to hide it, so he was with her to throw off any suspicion. I so wanted to believe him and wanted him back I ignored all logic and big red flags, the worst being he had cheated on me 9 days after having my virginity, later on, Valentine's Day! I found this out while out in a big group so I couldn't react, I couldn't laugh, I couldn't cry, I just had to stand there and take it.It was the worst moment of my life. (FYI - Age restriction is 18, not 16 when you are in a position of trust i.e. tutor, family friend, someone in authority - it comes under 'statutory')

My 'friend' Joe who I was in college with knew all about Nick. When we were at a house party (both drunk) he took me outside. I thought to fool around but it went further. He didn't ask. When I'm scared I freeze, it was happening and I couldn't say no or stop. He then ignored me for the next 3 weeks, which was hard to do in a class of 12. He then pulls me aside and tells me he is also seeing a girl in the year below and he thinks he's going to stick with her. Despite what had happened I would have ignored it as I just wanted someone to be with. To be normal, to be loved. Was I only good for one time on bed and then tossed aside?

Over a 5 year period, I kept being pulled back into Nick's advances, I stopped it several times but I still longed for the happily ever after. Over this time my body confidence was chipped away to nothing. I wore black baggy clothes, which was hard as I was also in musical theatre and they love you to be in Lycra. I couldn't be naked even in my own company. It was so hard not being able to talk to anyone about it. I was alone. I had to see them together and 'get on with it'.

Years later I was seeing a guy called Jack who lived in London. I thought I was starting to get my life back on track. I missed my last train so stayed at his, and said before he went to sleep 'I don't want to have sex'. I didn't want to make the same mistake. I woke the next morning to find I didn't have a lot of choice in the matter. It didn't even bother me. 3 times a charm! By this point, I knew I was damaged goods for life and this is what men did. It must be me, I was Bridget Jones, Made to be alone.

Then I met James. He was different. He didn't put any emphasis on a physical relationship at all. He just wanted to cuddle. It was a breath of fresh air. I thought here is someone who wants to get to know me, for me. Over the years I got more confident with my body again and tried to encourage a physical relationship but unless he was drunk or it was 3am and I was asleep he wasn't interested. 6 years later we moved into a property owned by his parents. By now I was in the beauty industry and said I'd move if I could work from the garage as it did mean giving up my business and starting again. Despite paying 50% of the bills and now not earning, it took 8 months to get my salon. (I had to wait for his dad to do the building work)

When I did though it was beautiful. Perfect, I had made it. I had my home (which was and is my only ambition in life), my salon and my best friend. I trusted him completely. 2 years passed by, with a content routine. He never wanted to get married or wanted children so I convinced myself I didn't want those things either. I was content with my lot. On 1st July 2018, he woke up and ended things, no warning, no communication, and no reason. He joined dating websites the next day and seemed to switch personalities. This wasn't the person I gave up my home and business for. Thankfully, I moved back to my parents. I was right back where I started 4 years previous.

To top it off I found out I was pregnant (I didn't find it odd how in the last few weeks we had been together twice, where before we had 8 months with nothing)I was a stone underweight with stress and even had an underactive thyroid (so I should have been putting on weight). When I told James, he went to a party instead of coming and talking to me. My worst fears had come true. I was homeless, without a job and now going to be a single parent. I was going to end the pregnancy but I couldn't. For some reason, I knew she was a girl and I fell in love with her. When I was 11 weeks I read a conversation between James and another woman, it dated back to a few days after he ended things with me. He told her straight away he'd known for ages ' I didn't want to marry her, I didn't want to have kids with her'. - Why did she get to know and I got 'it's not you, it's me! I felt something ping. I was losing our child. No one knew. Once again I had to deal with the worst trauma alone.

I officially moved out 8 weeks after he ended things. I left a note to say I had miscarried a few days before. I didn't even get a text message to say 'sorry for your loss'. Who was this man I had given my life to? I was so pumped with adrenalin I thought I'd join these dating apps to keep any confidence I still had up. I knew I wouldn't fall into anything long term, as I had booked to go to Oz for 3 months (Why not I had no clients to lose no bills to pay)11 weeks after losing my home and business I met Matt. Not only does he like me for me. (and I wasn't looking my best at the time, being underweight) but he made me feel sexy. I went to Oz 6 weeks later and still spoke every day. He even came with my mum to pick me up from the airport. Over a year on and he still makes me feel sexy and wanted.

It's hard being with someone new after such a long time we are both working on being the best versions of ourselves. He supports me when I'm down and unlike before doesn't make me feel ashamed for having 'down days'. I never thought a physical relationship was important but when you're with the right person it's a great addition! I am still living in my family home and I have re-started my business and looking into different avenues within the beauty industry, including an old love of singing. As I'm self-employed it will take a few years to look good enough on paper to get a decent mortgage. I am determined. I want a home. I want somewhere to feel safe. Somewhere to work from and grow. Hopefully, I'm on the right road and with the support I have from Matt and my parents I have no doubt I will get there.

I think the main reason I was able to move on from James so quickly was that I could talk about the pain. I didn't have to hide it like the times before. I guess the moral of the story is to talk and seek help, use your support network. The anger never goes away, but the pain does ease with time. I still get down and upset, but like an angry sea, you have to ride the wave and know calmer seas will return.

I've suffered with bouts of anxiety & depression for at least the last 30 years. In more recent years it's predominately been anxiety & panic attacks, which always seem to be triggered by a series of stressful life events & experiences which would have occurred over a number of months. The anxiety starts off slowly & is usually triggered by a downward spiral of negative thoughts, self-criticism & low self-esteem - I am & have always been my harshest critic. Being totally honest, there have been times when the anxiety has been so bad that I would think of ways leaving this world - just to escape the anxiety. My most recent episode was earlier this year, again there had been a series of events to deal with, I crashed my car, and we had 2 deaths in the family and stress at work (due to self-inflicted pressure). Over the years I've been on & off anti-depressants, I've tried CBT & had numerous counselling sessions. All of which were great at the time & helped me but after this recent bout I decided it was time to take control, stop being so harsh on myself & equip myself with the tools to deal with whatever life decides to throw at me; So, I started with some counselling sessions & then had some hypnotherapy sessions, both of which helped immensely. Since then I've become more focused on being in the present moment, mindfulness & making time to meditate - all of which I have been doing regularly - on my yoga mat - for the last 5 years ! Today, although I still have some way to go, I am getting regular exercise, I talk more to people how I am feeling & I attend regular group meditation sessions, as a result I am a lot calmer, happier & more positive.

Mental health, as I've found out myself, can strike in many different forms and hit anyone at any time. Even when you least expect it.

My Story

My favourite soap opera recently showed a dark storyline. It involves a couple where the man is using manipulation and blame to cause his partner, who has always been portrayed as a confident and strong person, to suddenly be filled with self-doubt and confusion.

The storyline starts with what looks like a loving relationship of a happy couple. Very slowly, however, the man starts to make his partner doubt them self and how people see them. He plays mind games. He becomes dismissive and puts blame on everything. It starts with small things, so his partner is not aware of what is happening.

As the storyline transpired, it sparked something in its similarities to my first long term relationship. I found watching this couple distressing. It made me feel anxious and upset, even angry.

I googled the storyline and there it was in black and white. I was faced with memories of a time I thought I'd got out of my system. Even though I'm now in a very happy, loving and strong relationship, I suddenly felt vulnerable to a memory from the past and the effect it had on me. Even though I walked away from the situation years ago.

It has taken until now to realise the reality of what happened to me back then. I remember being made to question myself. My actions. My upbringing and what people thought of me. Like on the soap opera, all this happened behind closed doors. To everyone who knew us, my then partner, was such a loving and caring boyfriend. He had a habit of making people around us think I didn't appreciate him and therefore I didn't deserve him and he was this amazing person to stick with me. He would play on the fact that I was not scared of confrontation, by making snide, unpleasant comments, very carefully and quietly, so no one around us knew what was happening. Sadly he would get the reaction he wanted, me looking like a bad and ungrateful person. I started to become immune to his comments and actions, often causing situations in the relationship to spiral out of control. I tried on several occasions to explain and show him what he was doing, but he wasn't interested and made me feel like I was fabricating everything and I was not normal. He tried to make me dependant on him and because I wouldn't let that happen, the relationship finally ended.

I lost the respect from people who knew us and I pretty much lost all my friends due to his actions when we spilt. I had no fight left. I did have, however, an unexpected sense of relief. My family were brilliant and so supportive, once I opened up to what happened. Thank goodness, because that's all I had left.

I moved on very quickly, or so I thought from this awful time in my life. The storyline has brought back feelings and emotions that I'd not addressed for years. I began questioning myself again. Simple flippant remarks and negative views have started to affect me. I've found it difficult to get motivated and found putting my feelings across to people very hard. My energy levels became low.

The hardest thing is: now I know this person who I loved, meant me harm. This has shocked me to know he knew exactly what he was doing and was happy to throw away something that could have been so amazing

Slowly now I'm starting to feel more positive. I'm lucky to be able to have the support of my husband, family and friends. Life coaching has helped and exercise. I'm setting myself goals to motivate me and gain back confidence. I'm on a journey to get back to being me!

I want to thank Elizabeth, who has had the forethought to use her extensive therapy and healing skills, to start a charity where she proactively helps people living with mental health issues. Thanks to Elizabeth I was able to put my story out there

Growing up I was a very shy and self-conscious child. This led to anxiety in social settings which led to depression, feeling as if I didn't fit in, that I wasn't good enough. It wasn't until I was a young adult that my symptom as such were given a diagnosis and there was medicine that could help. I first went on Prozac which initially made a massive difference. For the first time I suddenly had lots of energy and was excited about life again. I stayed on Prozac for a few years then decided that I was stable enough to try life again without medication. For a few years I was fine though winters with the lack of sunlight and when I was travelling I always struggled with depression, slowly over the years it got bad enough that it was effecting my relationships and work so back to the drs I went.

This time round I didn't feel quite the same emotional lift but it did help steady my moods. After been on antidepressants for a few more months I decided to come off the medication and start looking for natural alternatives I discovered St. John's wort and also started taking vitamin D supplements, both of these helped and I continue to use them today. I found for me another useful tool was my mental approach and realising that my low moods don't last forever that they do eventually change. When I am feeling unworthy, unloved, that there is nothing wrong with me I remind myself that these feeling will pass and tomorrow is on its way and with tomorrow comes hope and self belief”