Claudia Smith, Founder of Natural Solutions for Depression
A qualified nutritionist and positive psychology coach who works with women to overcome depression using natural solutions
Mental health has always fascinated me, but it wasn’t until I was suffering from depression myself that I got to understand how extremely painful and terrifying it can be.
I was in my early twenties, which is when you’re supposed to feel on top of the world and ready to take on any challenges that come your way. For a while I had a great time – having fun and taking it easy – but then I slowly noticed myself drifting into depression.
Right in the middle of my two years of suffering, I felt so empty and alone… far beyond sad. It was like being in a locked cage with no key and I always felt worse on sunny days, when surely everyone but me was enjoying themselves. I was so tired and my chronic eczema got worse; even my hip started to hurt.
I’d look in the mirror and didn’t recognise myself – and I didn’t think I’d ever get better again. I eventually got out of it, but it wasn’t through talk therapy or antidepressants; instead I starting running and embraced a radical change in diet, new lifestyle choices, natural remedies and serious mindsetwork.
I still remember my ‘lightbulb moment’ – discovering a book on healing with nutrition on my husband’s bookshelf – and everything changed in the following months.
After working on my physical and emotional wellbeing, I built new friendships, changed jobs and tried out new hobbies.
In 2017, I gained my diploma in Nutritional Therapy and this year I also completed a coaching certificate in Positive Psychology; then I started my business in June. My service is centred around offering women online-based one-to-one health coaching programmes which focus on nutrition, movement, self-care, mindset, their sense of connection and meaning in life. I also order and interpret functional medicine tests to help find the individual root causes of depression – leading to a better quality of life for my clients.
It’s been five years now and I haven’t suffered from depression since, nor do I feel like it’s lurking in the background. I’ve started to live again and creating the business has enabled me to help other women. If anything, I’m stronger now than ever before!