Gillian's Story

A traumatic childhood set the background for depression and anxiety - which all got worse after the Christchurch earthquakes. Support from group therapy and her family helped Gillian realise she wasn’t alone. 

My father was an emotionally abusive man

He said to me: “Only weak people seek help”. It wasn’t until I’d left home, I finally realised that the way my father spoke to me and my mother wasn’t right. 


All sorts of things affect your mental health

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I stayed inside all the time and I didn’t leave my house

When anxiety started to kick in, in my mid 30s, it was a whole new ball game. I was in another abusive relationship, I had this job that I wasn’t that well suited for, and then the earthquakes hit in Christchurch.


Depression or anxiety is different for everyone

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I wasn’t alone; I realised that other people were going through this

I did a combination of group therapy and individual therapy. Group therapy was awesome. I was very lucky to have the support of my friends and family throughout this time but the community at large, too. Depression.org.nz certainly helped a lot. I love JK.


There are things that can help you get through

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How I stay well now is, I ring friends and family

My niece is particularly my main support. I do leave the house. I walk my dogs in the park. Worked through some rough times here - and some good times too.


There are changes you can make to stay well

Learn how

When you’re down, every day is hard. Give yourself credit for making that day

Other people's stories

I lost a good mate

Stress in my childhood built up

I couldn't control my body

I had post-natal depression