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After hospitalisation and medication, and with the help of her loved ones, Courtney put the 'black dog' that is depression in its place.

This can help if:

  • you want to know more about depression
  • you’re experiencing depression
  • you feel like no one understands.
Girl in park

I was 12 when I first started to feel useless and abandoned. I kept a journal, which I wrote in every day. I sometimes wrote that I wished I wasn't alive, so that I wouldn't hurt as much. When I was 15, I had a breakdown one day at school. I was taken to hospital, where I was cared for by people who wanted to help me. I was put on medication, which didn't help that much, but I soon began the journey to become 'me' again, even though I wasn't sure who I was.

As a result of being bullied, I dropped out of school. I decided to start taking part in my local community, and so I began a 12-month traineeship. But I found learning how to cope both at work and at home really hard.

I still have my bad days, but in-between them, there is some good. I constantly try to keep myself safe from my own self. In doing so, I’ve learnt that I'm not the only one suffering from depression.

‘I’m not alone’

Depression is just something that some people have. It's like a little black dog that’s injured and has lost his owner. I can now see it as a life-changing experience, something that I can benefit from. All of us with depression have our own individual experience with it, and we each deal with it in different ways. I still check in with people constantly, to monitor myself and see how the little dog is doing. Some days are hard and I back-track. Sometimes I feel like I’ve become the little black dog, and that the Courtney I once was has disappeared. But I know that's not the case.

To everyone out there who feels alone and dominated by depression, I offer my love, support, and advice: get help. I did. It wasn't easy, but now I'm back on track. Kids Helpline is a great place to start looking for help. I can also call my brother. He’s my best friend and the person who keeps me smiling.

I've had to give up a lot, and I've had to mature faster than most people my age. However, I believe that if you love your friends and family, then you have enough love for yourself. Each of us is just as important as the people who lead ‘normal’ lives. We’re the ones making the difference.

‘I'll never forget the support others gave me’

Without the support of everyone I love, I don't know where I would be. I don't think I’ll ever forget the nurses, the psychologists and the friends I've come across, or could ever thank them enough. With everything I’ve been through, I’m still trudging on, and I'm extremely grateful. I'm going places, and this demon, depression, isn’t going to stop me. I have dreams that I wish to fulfil, and my little black dog sits beside my dreams, waiting to be taken for a walk.

What can I do now?