From counselled to counsellor

Story By: Elsha Elsha

She suffered debilitating panic attacks and couldn't control her moods. So how did she end in a position to help others in the same situation?

Boy helping a girl balancing on a fence
It was a matter of taking one step forward and three back but just reminding myself that I would survive.

When I got to secondary school my life, as it had been, changed rather drastically. My nanna passed away after a long battle with cancer. Later that year my parents separated as my Dad had an affair. My Mum and sister and I moved, and my sister and I moved schools. All of those events occurred in a very short period of time leaving me feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope and with so many mixed feelings.

Scared people would label me

My Mum noticed how down and fatigued I was and took me to our GP. It was then that I was diagnosed with depression. I was so confused as to what to feel. I was relieved to know why I had been feeling the way I had, but I was also scared that people would label me as crazy or different.

I went to several clinicians, whom I felt didn't really listen or understand where I was coming from. I eventually found one that I was comfortable with and who was empathic to my thoughts and feelings. He helped me confront the hurt and anger I was experiencing, and taught me to think in a more positive manner, using affirmations when I felt really down. I would tell myself that despite feeling down, I had felt this way before and I got through it. It was a matter of taking one step forward and three back but just reminding myself that I would survive.

Constant sadness

The worst thing about having depression was the constant sadness I felt, sometimes for no particular reason at all, which left me feeling helpless and out of control.

I experienced a lot of anxiety which led to panic attacks which made me feel like I was having a heart attack. My life was always on edge, like something was always behind me and I was running away from it always knowing it was eventually going to catch up with me and something terrible was going to happen.


Since I have recovered I have completed a Diploma in Counselling, in the hope of helping other young people overcome the battle with depression.

Last reviewed: 14 January, 2016
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