Therapy for Boarding School Survivors with Depression
Ex-boarders often suffer from Depression in their adult life, Marcus, a fellow Boarding School Survivor, will work sensitively and collaboratively with you in therapy.
To be depressed can feel very isolating, lonely and confusing. As a specialist in therapy for boarding school survivors with depression, I provide the safe space to help you begin to come out of the isolation and the opportunity to address your feelings with a fellow ex-boarder who has empathy and understanding.
Boarding School and the roots of your Depression
It should not be a surprise that adults who, when they were children, were exiled from family life and brought up for 9 months of each year within an institution which took the place of their parents, exhibit symptoms of abandonment and trauma.
Characteristically, male ex-boarders learned not to trust their feelings and especially their vulnerability. Female boarding school survivors became alienated from their very bodies at boarding school, and suffered profound though often barely visible wounds to their personal, feminine identity.
People who were sent away to boarding school often show effects resembling people who have suffered the most deprived and neglected childhoods.
Features of Depression in Adults who attended Boarding School
Depression is a common feature of Boarding School Survivor Syndrome. Often masked by addictions, and hyperactivity of various sorts, it can be like an underlying lead weight impeding the ex-boarder’s potential capacity for joy, vitality and spontaneity. Sometimes, it manifests in psychosomatic symptoms [link to that topic page]. Often it is mixed with anxiety, poor boundaries and a profound sense of shame.
Some possible signs of depression in ex-boarders are:
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Insomnia, exhaustion, early-morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Eating disorders – overeating or appetite loss
- Psychosomatic illnesses – Persistent aches, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not get better
- A feeling of emptiness – persistent of sadness and anxiety
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
- Change in appetite or weight
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Therapy for Boarding School Survivors and Depression with Marcus
In boarding school survivor therapy we explore your experience collaboratively and specifically focus on your feelings of depression and its possible root causes. As an experienced psychotherapist I have a wide range of methods at my disposal to help you move on from your depression, including ‘behavioural therapy’ techniques which are based on modern brain research.
We will discuss your emotional responses with an open mind, and work towards a fuller, safer relationship with your inner emotional life. The rage, anger and grief that are often contained within the state we call ‘depression’ will have the space to be safely aired, and the relief felt in terms of a lighter mood and more positive perspective on your life.
If you are an ex-boarder coping with depression, contact Marcus to discuss therapy.
Some helpful links that relate to Boarding School & Depression
A deeply moving short film by Tony Gammidge.
Edinburgh Boarding School Debate
Excerpts from public debate at Edinburgh University on banning boarding for the under 16s (2014).