Hi my name's Katie, I'm 16 years old and a first year student at English National Ballet School. I've been depressed for about 2-3 months now and if I'm honest, I don't feel much improved. I take fluoxetine, an anti-depressant to help raise the levels of serotonin in my brain. These have helped a little. I don't really know how my depression developed or how it got so bad - but the ballet world is harsh and brutal and so it's probably a mixture of reasons. My teacher is very harsh and expects nothing less than 120%, which is hard to give when you're spiralling downwards with depression. She doesn't really understands I don't think and is always frustrated with my work ethic. She knows I am depressed yet still shouts "why do you bother coming in" often. I don't think she really understands and I wish she could see from my point of view. My mother was a ballerina and I do feel a certain amount of pressure to keep dancing even though she just wants me to be happy. I change my mind often about whether I want to stay or leave the school because I do love ballet.
I first started to realise there was something wrong when I started having bullemic behaviour. I would make myself sick in the evenings because I found it gave me a sort of high... as if I knew I would look better in class the next day if I didn't keep my dinner down. I told my closest friend and he helped me stop, but it was so difficult. I felt anxious all the time because I hadn't been sick and had a few panic attacks. I then turned to self harm. I cut my sides and the side of my left hand. I felt so full up of misery I just wanted a release. This was when I went to the doctor.
The last time I self harmed was Monday night, so I guess you could say I haven't recovered yet. I just want help and advice on getting myself to be the happy girl I used to be.