It is not a weakness to ask for help and that there are ways, like volunteering, to aid in your recovery.

I’ve never really been sure what made my mental health suddenly go the way it did, I don’t know what the exact thing was that made me ill or when it happened. It could have been a factor of things looking back.

I was told I had depression in December 2017. One of my friends had come to check on me when I didn’t show up to lectures and found me curled in a ball under my covers shaking and crying. My friendship group at the time had noticed a change in my moods and energy, I stopped being myself. I promised them I would get help and booked a doctor’s appointment and saw a counsellor for the first time. I didn’t feel like I was ill though. I thought that by staying in the counselling service, I was stopping someone who needed help more than me from accessing the service, so I didn’t go back after my initial assessment.

I had my first big panic attack in January 2018. It was stupid really; I lost my student card on the way to an exam and lost control. I ran to Towers dining hall from Brockington trying to find it but it had blown out my pocket. I still remember everyone at breakfast looking at me as I ran out the dining hall in tears trying my hardest to get back to the exam venue before 9am. It was horrifying. For an hour and a half of that exam I couldn’t see, I couldn’t think, I could barely breathe! However, even after that, I still didn’t believe I was ill.

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