Skip to content

"It has taken me a decade to get the right treatment"

We're swearing to take on mental illness in young people so people like Coralie have the chance of a brighter future - we're asking you to swear with us. 

Coralie first experienced symptoms of mental illness when she was a child. She talks about the difficult reality of living with depression and anxiety - and why we must invest in research to find effective treatments.

"I had a really severe episode of depression when I was 18. I had just started university, which I had been looking forward to.

One day I was fine, the next, I had totally broken down. I spoke to no one and made no friends. I slept for upwards of 17 hours a day, and spent a lot of the rest of the time in tears.

I went to a doctor but they didn’t take it seriously.

It was awful, I didn’t feel like I was being understood at all. Eventually I had to move back home.

Looking back, I think I’ve always been anxious, getting very worried about things that weren’t a big deal. I had my first panic attack when I was 14 and felt very down when I was a teenager.

It has taken a decade to get the right treatment. I tried lots of different medications, one of which made the symptoms worse. 

Now age 27, I still have recurring episodes of anxiety and depression. These can wipe out whole days for me.

For me, depression feels like no one can reach you. I miss out on doing so many worthwhile and interesting things because I expend so much time and energy having a mental illness and managing it.

It’s also hard to explain – you feel as though you can’t ring up work and say you can’t come in because you feel like you’re going to die and can barely concentrate. Often it’s much easier to claim a physical illness.

Through mental health research we could see a huge reduction in human suffering, and it could be immensely valuable to the whole of society in terms of increased productivity. 

I think understanding why some people respond well to treatments and others don’t is really important, not only for helping people immediately, but for understanding the triggers of mental illness. And hopefully it could even lead to prevention.

With so many people facing mental health difficulties, we should be making it a top research priority."

Last updated: 25 January 2017

Subscribe to our newsletter. Get the latest news on mental health.

© MQ: Transforming mental health 2016 | Registered charity in England / Wales: 1139916 & Scotland: SC046075 | Company number: 7406055