Cameron’s Story

A sense of worthlessness and hopelessness has led to ongoing depression and anxiety for Cameron.

The Storm - Portrait of Cameron, Steve Browne, 2019

Cameron is a 22-year-old student and has been battling clinical depression for five years. While in Year 11, he began struggling with his grades. He also had an argument with his friends that he wasn’t able to resolve. Feeling a sense of failure on two levels made him incredibly angry. He walked away from his friends and decided to commit his time to studying instead.

Cameron isolated himself so much that his friends became concerned about him and organised an appointment with the school counsellor. While the counsellor was able to get Cameron and his friends back to a place where they could be civil, Cameron still felt he should keep his distance and continue focusing on his studies.

At the end of the year, Cameron discovered that despite his extra work, his grades hadn’t improved. He felt his efforts had been pointless, which made him feel worthless. He began having suicidal thoughts.

At the start of Year 12, he realised that something was wrong. He didn’t care about his classes and couldn’t do his homework. He would sit in front of his computer unable to type anything.

After failing a major test, he went back to the school counsellor, who identified that Cameron had clinical depression. He started ongoing counselling and spoke to his teachers who helped him work out a study plan. He also began exercising. Thanks to these things he was able to get through Year 12 with decent grades.

Cameron started university but soon dropped out. In the following years he went from one part time job to another, which added to his depression. Although he’d been going to counselling, he didn’t feel like he was using it properly. Rather than using it to rebuild himself, he was simply venting about everything that was frustrating him. Eventually, he stopped going.

A few weeks later, he had an unexpectedly dark day. He experienced an intense fear that he was going to kill himself. He decided he didn’t want to die or ever feel that horrible again. He returned to counselling but this time made the effort to use it properly.

By working with his counsellor he came to the realisation that he should go back to university, even though the thought of it terrified him.

Within a few weeks of starting classes, Cameron decided he didn’t want to do the course he’d enrolled in. He started spiralling again. With his counsellor’s help, he acknowledged that just because he’d chosen the wrong course, it didn’t mean that he needed to drop out entirely. He changed his major and now finds what he is doing interesting.

Shortly after overcoming this obstacle, his counsellor felt he’d made such a remarkable and rapid improvement that he didn’t need counselling anymore.

Cameron felt he could now make decisions for himself. He left counselling on good terms and hasn’t needed to go back since. Cameron feels that things are finally starting to look up for him.

Steve Browne

Steve started drawing at the age of 4 when he became interested in comic books and then Anime. He is now an artist, storyboard artist and filmmaker. He studied art at university but failed when his lecturers became displeased that he turned every still life exercise into a space station or swamp monster. His work features many surreal sci-fi landscapes and organic materials meshing with metals and man-made objects. A theme of his art is embracing what you are afraid of and drawing strength from it instead.

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