By Marina Chaker
A stunning teenager is thanking exercise for saving her life after attempting to kill herself THREE times.
Courtney Lorking, 18, from Central Coast, Australia, had to get stitches on her wrist after three suicide attempts just four weeks apart.
Her helpless parents, Debbie,59, and Bruce, 67, were devastated as their daughter battled extreme anxiety – something that left her housebound.
But after months of turmoil, Courtney decided to join the gym and began lifting weights.
And now she’s thanking exercise for saving her life – she’s no longer suicidal and has even began studying to become a personal trainer.
Courtney, who is now a wellness coach, said: “My anxiety had become so severe that I wanted to die.
“I tried to kill myself by slitting my wrist, it was horrific and I never want to feel that way again.
“I was then admitted to a psychiatric ward for three days, it was the worst three days of my life.
“But after returning home, I knew I had to get myself physically and mentally healthy.
“I slept all day, there was nothing to do there – you just feel like a prisoner.”
After getting out of hospital Courtney was determined to turn her life around by getting professional help and throwing all her energy into exercise and fitness.
Courtney said: “Once I got out of hospital I told myself that I didn’t want to feel that way ever again, I don’t want anyone else to feel like that.
“I’ve always been into health and training, I’m studying to be a personal trainer.
“I saw a psychologist and realised that I needed to listen to my body and put my health first.
“I just want to show people what fitness and fuelling your body correctly can do.
“Going to the gym is like therapy for me, it really helps.”
Courtney wants to raise awareness about depression and anxiety and to tell young women that they are not alone.
“Once you’re in a bad mind frame and you get out if it, it’s easy to slip back in.
“You have to keep going, tomorrow is another day. You have to put yourself first, no matter the consequences.
“You should never be afraid to speak out about depression and anxiety, it’s a real thing and affects so many people.
“Health and fitness absolutely saved my life, it gave me something to fight for.”
The wellness coach urges people to understand that listening to their body and being healthy does not mean depriving themselves of food they enjoy.
“If I start to feel down I’ll go to the gym or eat something really delicious that I enjoy.
“I eat whatever my body is craving, if I feel like I want to eat pizza I go for it.
“Listen to your body, accept yourself for who you are and do what makes you happy.
“I’ve learned to be by myself and enjoy my own company and I think that’s such a big part of health.”
Dr Stephen Carbone, Research and Evaluation Leader for Beyondblue Australia said: “Recovery is a gradual thing, it’s not one day you’re depressed and the next day you’re alright.
“Physical activity and diet can be very beneficial in helping reduce anxiety. A good sleep hygiene is also very important; some people aren’t sleeping enough and sleep is what their body needs to recover.
“For some people with severe anxiety or depression doing those things isn’t enough and they might need to see a psychologist.
“It’s important to break it up into the things that will get you well and the things that will keep you well.
“If people get the right treatment depression will reduce gradually, over a six-week period and will start to feel much better by the fourth week.
“It’s also about doing things that are fun and that give you a sense of achievement and things that engage you with others socially.”