It sometimes feels like I am jumping on the “Mental Health” bandwagon. Although having a lifetime history of depression I feel I am allowed to. I am certainly not a victim and am much more than the depression.

I have bounced around over the years with good periods balanced out with lows. I have worked and managed to bumble my way through life. I’ve actually had a pretty good and varied life considering!

Then lockdown hit and like so many others I didn’t cope very well. Well this is probably a bit of an understatement!

This time I didn’t bounce back and the depression continued. 2021 was a very dark year. I had lost all sense of purpose and hope. I was pushing everybody away and was convinced I didn’t have a future. Bouncing around the crisis service I had finally had enough and in October was at rock bottom. Things didn’t go to plan and I ended up in hospital with a broken ankle. I was still in a very, very dark place but in hindsight was so very fortunate to be picked up by the system and moved to the Priory in Southampton.

At the time I thought everybody was wasting their time but thankfully people didn’t give up on me.
 I was seen by an amazing doctor at the Priory who really cared when I had lost all hope. Looking at my long history of depression she prescribed Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) and the sessions began. I was incredibly scathing and didn’t see how anything would work but went along with it. So after 10 weeks and 14 sessions I can honestly say that I have my life back and have never felt so well. I commented to the staff that “this s**t actually works”! Not sure they can use that in reviews of the service.

I was lucky enough to have this treatment on the NHS. I think that this therapy still has a bad reputation thanks to films and the history it has. This needs to change!! I have spoken to people who thought it was illegal. Imagine that!!

I still have my good and not so good days but that’s life and I can now cope with that. I now have an amazing job at the NHS and am supported by a great team. Am also back to my various volunteering and now using my experience both good and bad to support others.


Note from Creatful: Huge thank you to Lara for her continued support as a volunteer with Creatful and for sharing her story. Lara spends much of her time helping others, she is an inspiration and we are incredibly proud of her.