James' Story

James has bravely shared his story to try and help other people in a similar position reach out and get the support they need.  Here at the Architects Benevolent Society, we rely on our supporters to raise funds to help people in times of need. We are unique in being able to provide immediate financial assistance to past and present members of the wider architectural profession in times of crisis. We are very grateful to James for sharing his story.

Earlier this year, I was suffering greatly with depression and anxiety, my situation had been getting bad for a while and I had just started going back to the doctors despite having realised the symptoms throughout the year. At that time, my grandmother, who I was very close to, passed away having been terminally ill and the weight of my course hit me hard; my girlfriend also split from me as she couldn't bear to see me suffering. As a consequence I was in a very low position, to the point where I was suicidal and had actively started to act on these thoughts and feelings.

Finally something triggered and I reached out to my tutors, who both offered me support and help, and one of them put me in contact with the ABS who referred me to Anxiety UK. I had a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).  My counsellor was a very kind helpful individual who was always able to tailor the techniques to my situation.

Following my initial contact with the ABS a lot has changed; I have come to terms with the loss of my grandmother, I have also finished my Masters and am currently a Part 2 architectural assistant in Winchester at a firm where I have wanted to work for a long time. My girlfriend and I managed to work things out and being more open about my mental well-being really helped us. I listened to the doctor's advice more as well and have been on a course of anti-depressants.

I have come a long way from where I started and definitely feel more confident to talk about my well-being and reach out if needs be. I have noticed a change in myself and I do feel the tools Anxiety UK gave me through CBT have really helped me get to this point.

If the Society had not been able to provide me with help I don’t think I would have felt confident enough to push through the hardship and get to where I am now.

I do feel more excited by the future than I had done previously and look forward to what it may bring. I hope to start my Part 3 at some point in the future. My girlfriend and I have recently moved in together and are making plans for holidays and buying a house at some point.

If I could put my own thoughts forward, reaching out is always the hard part but doing that is the first step and, although it can be extremely difficult, it does provide the biggest feeling of relief as it stops you feeling as though you are on your own.

 

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