“…One of the most important aspects of the course was the fact that no one was ever put on the spot or made to feel uncomfortable..”

Carole’s story

At the beginning of 2015 I had thoughts of harming myself had been regularly visiting my GP and was suffering from severe depression. I had low self-esteem, was suffering from daily panic attacks and could see no future.
I had an IAPT assessment and was given the opportunity to attend the Stress Control Classes; I didn’t think that anything could help me stop the way I was feeling. I was at a point where I could see no future and the panic attacks had reached such a stage that they were dictating my actions every day.
After my assessment I received a letter giving me the details of the class.  The day before the first session I panicked and asked if I could reschedule and attend on another date, the person I spoke to was kind and helpful and arranged this for me.  I had thought a great deal about having to walk into a room full of strangers and having to possibly introduce myself and answer questions and worried that I wouldn’t be able to leave once I went into the room. I found it all too overwhelming.   Even though I had been experiencing negative thoughts, due to the friendliness of the people I had spoken to this made me reschedule the start date for treatment and not cancel altogether, I just needed some more time.
The second letter with the new date and time arrived and after a great deal of talking things through with family and friends I decided that this time I would attend. I was still very nervous so rang and spoke to someone to see if it would be possible for someone to come with me and stay if needed, the person I spoke to confirmed that this would be absolutely fine.
The day arrived and my daughter came to the venue with me. On arriving I could see into the room and as we walked towards the door one of the people taking the course immediately came to meet me and introduced herself.   This made me feel more relaxed about going in on my own and asked my daughter if she would wait outside.  I sat down and the first thing we were told was that if at any time we needed to leave the room it was perfectly ok to do that. I felt at ease from the very beginning.
Over the six week duration of the course we were made to realise that we weren’t alone nor were we going mad. All our experiences may have been different but they were all very real. We were given hints and tips of how to deal with our lives. Practical information was given in an easy to understand way. For the first time I began to have an understanding of what was happening and in doing so felt able to start putting some sense back into my life. One of the most important aspects of the course was the fact that no one was ever put on the spot or made to feel uncomfortable. Everyone attending the course was made to feel welcome and important.
Over the six weeks I became gradually more confident and began to see a future again. My daughter continued to accompany me and there were a few occasions when I experienced panic attacks whilst in the room however I never felt I had to leave. The practitioners did a remarkable job in instilling confidence and self-belief.
By the end of the course I had several informative leaflets and a CD. During the weeks following the course I read and re-read the written information and on several occasions have used the relaxation CD to help me overcome my panic attacks . The techniques I have learnt have been invaluable and as well as using them myself in everyday life I have been able to pass information on to other people.
It has been several months since I completed the course and I am now training to be a Driving Instructor, unbelievable!
I would recommend the course to anyone and can say with confidence that even if a person only learnt one thing from attending the classes then it would be life changing thing.  Even a small step forward is a step in the right direction and I am overjoyed I took that step.