Ellie Depp felt her life was not worth living - until she picked up a paint brush.
Now the young Chesterfield woman is learning to conquer depression through the power of art and hopes her story will inspire other sufferers.
Ellie, now 21, was diagnosed with the illness at the age of 19.
After three weeks of battling with dark thoughts, dropping out of university and losing over a stone in weight, Ellie drove to a remote spot where she intended to take her own life.
She added: “I just cracked and broke down.
“I couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t eat.
“I lay in bed for three and lost an incredible amount of weight.
“One night I thought I can’t do this anymore.
“I couldn’t remember ever being in a good mood or happy and had been living with this for a while.”
Ellie planned to put a bag over her head and suffocate herself but only changed her mind at the last minute when she thought about the impact it would have on her family.
After confessing to her parents she had suicidal thoughts they agreed she needed professional help and Ellie has now been taking antidepressants for three years.
But Ellie, of St John’s Road, Newbold, said it was taking up painting that has had the biggest impact on her health - and she has now started her own business creating abstract art work.
She added: “It has had a big affect on turning my life around.
“Since I have taken up art I’ve found a real passion and solace in the activity. I also want to raise awareness for depression and maybe give hope to those who find themselves in the same situation as me.”
Ellie said as with many depression sufferers, it was difficult to pin-point the exact cause of her illness but felt moving out of home for the first time to study maths at university and breaking up with her boyfriend contributed.
“Clinical depression is so hard to diagnose as often there isn’t a reason for it at all. It’s just what your mind does,” she said.
As well as painting, antidepressants and cognitive behavioural therapy have helped Ellie cope with her illness.
She added: “When I started taking anti depressants I remember waking up in a good mood for the first time in as long as I could remember.
“It’s been quite a long journey of trial and error as some of the anti depressants have had severe side effects such as insomnia but they knock the edge off. Without family support and friends support and painting I don’t think I’d be able to cope without it.”
To find out more about Ellie’s art work go to www.artbyelliedepp.com