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Street dancing, depression and me

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 Vidura

Vidura began experiencing depression when he moved to the UK with his family. He tells us the story of how he came to cope by turning to street dance, and how street dance became a huge part of his life.

Vidura is a street dancer, performer and a volunteer Maths tutor for Action Tutoring.

I have suffered from mental illness and depression from a young age, and it totally affected my teenage years. After a decade long struggling, I found street dance and it changed my life. I felt it was important to share my story to inspire others that you can achieve great things by facing  mental health problems.

"My depression really kicked in after my parents moved to the UK when I was about eleven years old."

Having to adjust to life in a foreign country was very difficult. Friends I knew were gone, and the change in environment, school and family life triggered my depression. I had a lot of troubles from all angles in life. This made it feel impossible for me to carry on. I woke up a lot of nights for years simply breaking down and not been able to cope with the stress and the depression. I also suffered from anxiety which had a devastating impact on my daily life.

At the time, I didn't understand it was an illness. I remember a particular day I was coming back home after playing in the park, I couldn't find enough strength to get myself home. I leaned against a wall and collapsed. It felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders. I contemplated suicide at times and felt trapped. I never really reached out for help either, as I felt that there wasn't anyone who could help with my situation. Looking back now I could have dealt with things better.

"What turned around my life was getting in to street dancing."

I was inspired by a friend, and I started taking classes at a studio in London. I then went out and met a lot of other dancers to practice and train with on a regular basis. It gave me a purpose, and eventually the happiness I gained from it helped me manage my depression. The dancing helped recover my life, my studies and get through university.

My advice to anyone who might go through something like this is reach out for help. The thing about life is that it changes, and you may never know what might come your way. Last year I performed solo for Dance Show Live nation's best dance act at the Glasgow Exhibition Centre. I also went on to work as an engineer for Rolls-Royce. If someone had said to me during those dark moments that I would have gone on to achieve the things I did, I wouldn't have ever believed it.

Opening up about my mental health means that I know I can get help when I need it. My ex-employer was helpful and offered to reduce my hours, and my friends have offered me their support if I need someone to talk or socialise with.

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