Helena is 19. She’s experienced severe anxiety and depression caused by her abusive dad and disruptive home life. Helena received very little support from school and did most of the work for her GCSEs from home. Since, Helena has gotten help from counselling and she enjoys films, reading books and socialising on the internet.
Helena is 19 and has experienced anxiety and depression from a young age. Helena used to be a very shy child and didn’t have many friends. She was badly bullied in school but also by other kids on her street and put down at home by her dad. As she got older, Helena’s shyness got worse and took a knock on her self confidence.
Helena and her mum have suffered years of abuse by her father which worsened when he got ill. This made her home life very hard and Helena says she found it difficult to face going to school. She started missing out school and by the time of her GCSEs she wasn’t going to school at all. By this time, Helena had also developed agoraphobia and, for long periods of time, couldn’t leave her house. Helena was offered no support from school; no counselling except for an out-of-school counsellor she was force to see to explain why she was missing so much of school. A school welfare officer would also regularly come to Helena’s house if she wasn’t going to school and try and force her to go. All these experiences made Helena frightened of the real worl. However, through studying hard and doing her course work at home, Helena got five GCSEs which she’s extremely proud of!
The anxiety Helena experienced stopped her from going out because she felt people were staring at her. It also made her feel panic and fear and like she wanted to run away. She also had physical symptoms of stomach pains, sickness and problems sleeping.
After Helena left school she went to counselling which has helped her a great deal and given her hop. She says, Getting help for my problems was probably the best thing I;ve ever don. Her mum has also always been an unfailing support for her over the years and helped her with practical things when Helena was too scared to leave the house on her own.
Helena’s confidence is slowly building up, she’s gained confidence to do short college courses and to make new friends. She’s found a passion in film and writing and is doing a Postgraduate course in Screenwriting at university. She says teachers need to be educated about young people’s mental health and how to help young people constructively and sensitively early on, before their problems get too far down the line.