Charlotte Reed was clinically depressed. But the 36-year-old says she cured herself by posting cheerful Facebook statuses.
Reed, from London, refused anti-depressants and instead decided to post cheerful status updates everyday for two years in a bid to self-heal herself.
The former legal secretary who is now an author said it was successful and she was now free of the depression which crippled her.
Describing her depression, Reed said it came on very suddenly following an operation in 2008 when she was 30.
“I had never experienced anything like it before,” she said. “I felt awful and I couldn’t understand it.
“I felt beyond sadness. It was physiological and psychological. I got very bad headaches - it felt like the front of my skull was cracking. It felt like there was water rushing through my head.
“I was having panic attacks on a regular basis - it was like someone had pulled cheese wire across my throat and was tightening it. It would get more and more intense until I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
"I would be sweating and my heart would be pounding. I would have a sense of impending doom. I felt like the world would end or my family would be killed. I was like a zombie in a dark cloud.”
She went to her GP and was diagnosed with depression. The GP suggested anti-depressants and counselling.
“I was a shaking woman in their surgery saying I wanted to kill myself,” she said. “But straight away I said no to anti-depressants.
“I had six weeks of NHS counselling and by the end of it I didn’t feel very different.”
So she decided to turn to social media.
“I decided to write positive statuses,” she said. “One was, ‘Follow your own way’ and another was ‘Do your best and then let the universe do the rest.’
“The first thing I did every morning was put the messages on Facebook. My friends would always log on to read them.”
Reed said initially she still felt depressed but after a while the messages began to cheer her up.
“I realised to change that I had to fulfill my pact with myself to have at least one positive thought a day.
“It really helped me, but then I discovered it helped others too. I had people asking where my thought for the day was if I went away on holiday. They became really popular.”
Reed has now turned her Facebook quotes into a book called May The Thoughts Be With You. Within a year she had sold 5,000 copies of the book. It proved so popular it is now on sale in the UK, Canada and South Korea.
“It’s more than I ever dreamed of,” she said. “Going through depression was awful but it brought me here. That has to be a positive thing.”