Denise’s early life.
Having hated her entire time at school, Denise escaped as soon as she could, with virtually no qualifications. Although considered intelligent, she had always struggled; to read, to spell, with maths and even with physical education. Denise was first diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of 14.
Marriage and higher education
Denise married for the first time aged just 18. Had her first child at 20. By the time she was 21 Denise was a single parent living on state benefits. Miserable, alone and feeling as if she had totally messed up her life, not for the first time she felt suicidal. Denise married John in 1986 and they went on to have two more children. She believed the myth she was told about depression being caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain - and repeated it to family, friends and later to her clients.
After a tough love talk from her Dad, Denise decided to do ‘the best she could with what she had’. She looked for a way to use the brain she knew was in there somewhere. Denise discovered she could learn, if taught in the right way. She gained a 2.1 BSc (Hons) in Social Sciences. After a 10 year career in the third sector, she trained to be a therapist. She later went on to train and supervise other therapists and coaches. And continued her academic studies with a post graduate Masters Degree in coaching psychology. Taken in by the story she was told by a well meaning if misinformed GP, she continued to take anti-depressant ‘medication’ on and off for many years. The GP had repeated the myth about depression being a life long condition for which she would need treatment - similar to someone with diabetes requiring insulin in order to survive.
Following John’s death Denise closed her private practice and stopped training people to become therapists and coaches - no longer offering the independently recognised courses she had designed and delivered in Hypnotherapy, NLP, Coaching and Integrated Psychological Studies, since 2005.
While seeking ways to survive the mental and emotional impact of bereavement by suicide, as well as investigating the factors that contributed to John’s death, Denise made discoveries that radically changed her fundamental beliefs about mental health issues and their treatment. At the point in her life when, if the stories were true, she would need the drugs more than ever, she stopped taking any form of anti depressant ‘medication’. She has been drug free since John’s death.