Learning to learn again - beating depression
By Samantha Jones

Since I finished my level three in Health and Social Care, depression really took its toll.  Admissions to psychiatric hospitals went on for longer than I can remember during this five year break from education.  I never thought I would get to this place alive, let alone go on to study a HNC (level four) in Health and Social Care.  In less than two weeks’ time I will be a student, learning to learn again.

Ready to learn again

Over the course of the last three months I have been suicidal, actively planning my route out of this world.  However, something changed and I am now studying further, to contribute to society.  It’s a scary time for anyone, but with a mental illness every scenario is already planned out in your head and also every possible outcome.

During my childhood I had a horrendous time at school, being bullied, being the outcast and also being repeatedly raped.  Anorexia and self harm was my only way of controlling the difficult time I was having.  Hospital admissions started at the age of 15, far away from home but I was able to escape the harsh reality that school brought.

Free to learn again

When I finally finished school it was like I was free again.  A butterfly that only just developed from her catalyst.  No longer bound to the law that states you must stay in education until you are sixteen.  It was my decision to go onto college, I had a choice, I had a voice but most of all I had control.  Whilst at college for two years I didn’t have a single psychiatric admission, not one.  That changed when I broke up for summer.  Realising college was over, I quickly spiralled into a pit of depression, unable to see light from dark, good from bad.

Nothing can surprise me

Five whole years.

Five whole years of depression being my closest friend, when I didn’t see any point in pushing myself to what I was capable of.  Now it has changed.  I’m hoping my level four will allow me to develop not just academically but emotionally as well.  Times will get tough but when you’re close friends with depression nothing can surprise you.

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