Gillian's Story

By accepting support from her family and attending group therapy Gillian realised she wasn’t alone after the Christchurch earthquakes. A traumatic childhood had set the background for the depression and anxiety which was triggered by the ‘quakes.  

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. 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

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

Other people's stories

I take my medication and attend therapy

I look for positive things

I learnt new strategies