Rhodri, 33, is self-employed and lives in North London.
Two years ago my doctor signed me off with depression and anxiety and I was not at work for seven weeks. This had been the result of a culmination of ongoing problems at work: the previous year I had been signed off with work-related stress and separately, a
long-term relationship ended.
I was initially treated with CBT, which did help me get back to work and become self-employed. However, after becoming self-employed, I experienced a relapse of depression and was treated with medication. Although the medication did help stabilise my mood, the drugs caused side-effects so after six months, I decided to come off of them.
Although I felt stable after coming off the medication, my negative thoughts remained and this caused me to dip in and out of mild depression and anxiety. I continued to use CBT which helped somewhat to relieve the symptoms, but it never fully prevented these thoughts from entering my mind.
My cousin had mentioned once that he had used mindfulness to overcome depression and that it had helped him greatly. This had planted a seed in my mind about wanting to give mindfulness a try so I had a look online and started googling courses for mindfulness. Most courses I found were local to me but they were expensive and didn’t really fit in with my work schedule – I often work erratic hours and can be away from home for weeks at a time. But after much online searching I came across the Be Mindful Online course.
The Be Mindful Online course only cost £60 so I thought I didn’t really have anything to lose as it cost the same as a couple of meals out. The course was also backed up by some hard scientific research which reassured me. The course taught various meditation techniques and how to assess your life. The first mediation I did, the Body Scan, asks to focus on the sensations you feel in your toes, feet, legs etc. – it seemed to calm my mind straight away. It’s amazing how the body scan can have such a calming effect on the mind.
It’s now been over six months since I completed the Be Mindful Online course and I’ve manage to mediate almost every day. My depression and depressive thoughts have totally gone and my anxiety is pretty much eliminated too. I am a lot more reflective about my feelings, and I can now notice my reaction to things and their associated emotions which allows me to handle them calmly – It was definitely the best £60 I’ve spent in years!
I would recommend this course to everyone, especially if they have had problems with anxiety, depression or self-doubt.