Overcoming depression, Jusna's story

Jusna with her four children

I am Jusna Begum, a single mother to four children. This is my personal experience of depression and how I overcame it. 

What is depression?

Everyone goes through some periods of deep sadness and grief in their lifetime. These feelings usually fade away within days or weeks, depending on people’s circumstances. But the intense sadness that lasts for more than two weeks and affects your ability to function or carry out day to day tasks, is a sign of a deeper depression. In fact, this more severe form of depression is a massive problem in the UK today, with one out of every six people living with depression. Depression can be a significant mental health problem.     

What causes depression?

  • Bereavement of a loved one
  • Divorce or a relationship breakdown
  • Psychological abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Stress and anxiety from financial circumstances, loss of job, unpaid bills
  • Studying and the pressure of graduating  

What are the signs and symptoms of depression?

When you’re depressed you can lose your appetite, experience insomnia, suffer from lack of energy and concentration. You may find it hard to be around people or become angry easily. Mood swings are common, and you become exceptionally sensitive towards everything others say or do. At times it feels impossible to ask for help as you think people will judge you. As you can imagine, all these symptoms can be really overwhelming and can leave you without confidence, feeling worthless. Sometimes you are unaware of the root of your own depression. It’s terrible and makes you believe life is not worth living. In extreme cases it leads to suicide.

jusna begum and daughter

My experience of depression

I experienced depression when I suddenly became a single parent with the responsibility of taking care of four children - three of them under the age of four. I couldn’t handle the pressure of babies crying all the time, having to change diapers and feed them. The amount of housekeeping, shopping and school runs became too much. At the same time, I had to find a way to pay for everything. It was really hard to cope with juggling all of these things at the same time. I was selfless towards my children - this made me feel like I couldn’t cope. It made me believe life was not worth living. I wanted to give up on my kids and bury myself under the earth.

How I overcame my depression

My children’s health visitor saw the signs of depression and referred me to a local family and children’s centre called “Coin Street.” Staff members from the family support team started making home visits to check on me and invited me to a parents group called ‘’Home from Home.’’ I wasn’t really interested but after a lot of support and persuasion I started attending the group. 

When I finally made it to Coin Street the environment was welcoming and friendly. I met other parents in similar situations to me, which made me feel at home instantly. There were a range of activities for all the parents. Everyone started something new and this is where I picked up my embroidery hobby. While learning this new skill I would talk with other parents also finding it difficult to cope - these conversations made me feel normal.

If you harness the strength inside of you, you can discover wonderful things about yourself. 

Jusna Begum

A huge thanks to Coin Street

Through Coin Street I became a skilled embroidery artist. Being there took my mind off everything - I was finally able to find some time for myself. I was able to unwind and enjoy the company of others after a really long time. Since then whenever I feel alone or sad, I do some embroidery and feel good once more. I am delighted with all of the different styles of embroidery I have learned. When people showed a positive interest in my designs and began to say that I should open up my own business online, my confidence grew and I started to enjoy life again. 

This started me on a path of learning and growing. I became involved in lots of different courses at Coin Street and I realised that knowledge is power. I have achieved so much during my time at Coin Street. With the support of Coin Street’s family support team I was able to complete my GCSE’s at grades 8-4. Recently I started my own business ‘Gifts Bismillah’, where I make personalized gifts for all age. I am still looking after my four children and have started studying an A Level access to teaching course full time. Coin Street has made such a difference to my life, I can never thank them enough.

My tips on getting out of depression:

The message I’d like readers to take away from this is to learn to see yourself as an independent and powerful person that has the power to overcome anything. If you harness the strength inside of you, you can discover wonderful things about yourself. 

  • Talk to a professional like a GP, Midwife or health visitor,
  • Talk to a friend or family member.
  • Try gentle exercises like yoga 
  • Teach yourself mindfulness
  • Listen to white noise at bedtime to fall asleep
  • Take on a new hobby such as embroidery 
  • Know when to take time out
  • Most of all, love yourself before loving anyone else

Thank you for reading. I wish everyone the best in life.

Jusna Begum