Foundation For Positive Mental Health

Personal Experiences

Real people’s stories in their own words about how Positive Mental Training has helped them overcome low mood and depression to ‘got their life back’


Listen to Police Officer Kevin McGhee describe his recovery from suicidal depression at the Let’s Talk Event held with the University of Edinburgh’s sport and exercise department November 2019. [11.36 mins]

Susie (not her real name) – 16yrs  Two young women, close-up Read her story

Back in November ages 16. I became very low and emotional with my life. It was very hard to express how I felt, as I personally didn’t know what was going wrong in my mind.I am very close to my family and find that I can speak to them about any problems, but through this time I could not bring to words how I felt. Through the period my mum was very worried as she could not make me express what I was feeling.

My mum contacted our doctor and booked an appointment. The doctor asked some questions that I felt I couldn’t answer as I couldn’t put the words together to tell him. This situation was quite nerve wrecking as also my nan had to come with me as my mum was at work, and my nan also didn’t know about any of my problems. I think to be able to speak openly about how I was feeling it would have been easier to go to the appointments on my own, as I found it difficult to talk about my feelings in front of my family. The doctor gave me a questionnaire to fill out which was more helpful with the questions that I felt I couldn’t speak about.

Another appointment was arranged for a week, where I took back the questionnaire and he was able to discuss the areas that he felt was my worst. The doctor tried many of things to get to the bottom of it. He suggested Pilates Classes, a tablet to take before I went to bed to help me sleep better and a Relaxation tracks to listen to. I found that the relaxation tracks  and the tablets worked best.

I listened to the relaxation tracks every night before I went too bed, which allowed my whole body too feel totally relaxed. The tablets also allowed me to wake and feel like I had more energy than I had done on previous nights sleep.

In January I went back to see the doctor where he suggested I  continue to listening to the Positive Mental Training programme to help me to relax.

On my last visit to the doctor I felt that I had enough courage to go on my own and be able to speak openly about how I was feeling and how much I had improved.

I hope this will help other people as it helped me.


Jenny 60yrs, Runcorn Read her story

Dear Alistair and Sheila,

After months of misery, suffering from anxiety and depression, Dr ****** at ****** Practice, Runcorn, suggested I listen to and download your mp3s on Positive Mental Health, so I did.

What a revelation! First I started with the relaxation and that was wonderful, being able to relax eventually without feeling anxious, was heaven.

Then following up with muscle relaxation and visulisation was perfect escapism but so helpful to quiet my mind, and eventually listening to self esteem really helped, particularly on a bad day when i couldn’t even bring myself to leave the house, after listening to the tapes with practice I could.

I’ve changed my job, moving to a much less stressful one, something I would only dream about before the help from your audio recordings. I would recommend them to anyone and have told lots of people in the same boat as I was to find out about them.

Thank you so much, without your forethought to bring something into depressed and weary patients lives, other than just medication, is wonderful. Things could have turned out a lot different and much worse. I think they can benefit everyone and will continue to use them for a long time to come.

Bless both of you and particularly Dr ***** for suggesting I try them. You have helped me believe in myself again.

Kind Regards


Sean 35yrs Read his story


The reason I need to share my story, is because I once thought there was no point to my days. I could see no tomorrow I could sense no goodness in my life. My experience started when I was 8 years old. My parents, who are now divorced and remarried with new families were good parents to me. Sadly from a young age, they used to fight a lot. Majority of the time it was my Dad who was beating my mum up. This happened due to alcohol and was on a daily basis. The childhood I remember has good memories, but the bad memories outweigh the good memories.

At the age of 18, I became a father when my girlfriend got pregnant, since my partner and I have had 1 more child and we are expecting another in April ’09. My 2 sons are 15 and 17 now. And I am proud of them, and love them. Because I cant work for a living, as I am disabled,  I decided to do something in the community, for my own sanity, so I could look myself in the mirror. As a lover of football, I started doing my coaching badges/certificates in 2002. Since then I have passed 8 courses, managed 3 teams, and had success at all 3. I started at kids level age 8 to 10, and the success there was developing young minds to a discipline, that discipline was football. I then moved onto Adults football management in 2004, and in my 3rd season I won 2 trophies as manager, and lost in another final. Just now I am managing an Under 15 side. We are top of the league, In a semi final and a final, to be played April/May 09. Football is my life. Through the pain and depression, Football gives me light, gives me purpose and a reason.

That is my story, or the story that is relevant to this site. When I was about 29/30 years old, I started suffering from panic attacks. Along with my back and knee pain (that I am on disability from), this was very hard to be the man I wanted to be. For almost a year, I suffered with these attacks, that I thought were heart problems. At this time I was seeing Dr Allister Dobbin. A fantastic, understanding Dr with a good heart, who wants to care and help. One day, say 2006, Dr Dobbin gave me some CDs to listen to for my panic attacks. I took them, thought, do I have drawer space for these, went home, and did indeed throw them in a drawer. My panic attacks continued to the point I 100% contemplated suicide. I could no longer deal with what was going on in my head. As a last gasp measure I remembered Dr Dobbin had given me these CDs. This is the day my life changed.

One day, I decided to lie on my bed, put a CD into my CD Walkman, and I listened to these Cds, and right away I started getting flashbacks of my Mum and Dad fighting. In one of the CDs you are asked to go to a make believe, safe room for me, this was my room, as it was, when I was 10, when my parents were fighting. These CDs changed and saved my life. They made me realise I had been saving all this emotion from my childhood, and taught me what the trigger to my panic attacks were. For instance, one day, my wife was watching Eastenders on BBC1, and in this episode, there was a scene of a husband hitting his wife. Over time, I realised the reason I had been having panic attacks was because of my past. The day I realised that, is the day I started to deal with it. The things in the CD to show you how to counter a panic attack, using your fist for example to make a strong fist, then relax. This technique taught me to beat the attack.

Now. I am 35, still a football coach, still alive and happy. As I said above, my partner and I are having a new baby soon, I use my football to do my bit for the community. This is a great relief for me, even though I am disabled and in pain, I have achieved a high level of football management. The panic attacks have stopped. Sometimes, every so often, I feel one coming on, but I know it wont beat me now. I take very strong pain killers, Dyhdracodine, Diazepam, and a strong sleeping tablet so I can sleep at night. Through all this, I still manage to live a normal a life as I can. I one day plan to try and come off these medications, and work towards total inner happiness. And I will. I also feel a disabled person has as much right as an ably bodied person to be a success in mainstream sports

I will say it proud, and loud, but Dr Dobbin saved my life. These CDs helped me get a life. I have learnt that life is a state of mind, and I have taken that belief to my football, and it has worked for me. Being positive is hard sometimes, but just having these CDs in a drawer, I know, if needed, I can beat anything now.

My future plan is to coach pro football.

Yours in good faith

self esteemKelly 40yrs Read her story

I was bothered by broken sleep and used the Positive Mental Training audios [relaxation training] to see if I could improve my sleep pattern. During the first week I felt I had to discipline myself find the 15-20minutes to listen to the track but, at the end of the week, I did notice an improvement in my state of mind.

In the second week my sleep became less broken however I still felt I was having to make time to listen to the 2nd track even although I found the experience very relaxing and enjoyable. I then became conscious that I really needed to find time (only 20 minutes!) to do something which actually facilitated me doing and enjoying all the other things in my life. Using the Positive Mental Training Programme made me aware of how easily you can ignore your own needs in the drive to complete a days tasks. By working at establishing a routine, taking 20 minutes/day to follow the programme, I found myself enjoying a full nights sleep most nights and therefore feeling more able to cope with whatever daily challenges were presented to me.