"Going for my first appointment at HCS felt frightening. I was worried it would be like a visit to my overstretched GP; that I'd be left feeling guilty for wasting time and resources meant for really sick people. But it wasn't like that at all. For the first time since my diagnosis with depression someone was talking with me as if I had choices and discussing with me what might be causing me to feel so awful for so long. After a few sessions it seemed less inevitable that I would be depressed for the rest of my life. I even started to think, after about six months, that I might be able to get through life on a less punishing path. Eighteen months on, and after a lot of hard work, I'm proud to say that I've changed a huge amount about how I live my life. Work is still important but it doesn't always win the priorities race, I can acknowledge and return love and affection from my boyfriend and I've rekindled friendships with people I thought had forgotten me. I'm not cured, but I am learning to make choices that make me a lot happier."