Published On: Tue, Jul 1st, 2014 on 4:51 pm

Inspiring artist Debbie who beat depression hosts first solo exhibition

Debbie Taylor Artist

Debbie Taylor with one of her paintings

A local artist who battled depression, and has inspired many with her story, has gone on to host her first art exhibition.

Debbie Taylor, 45, shared her collection of artwork at the Shears Inn in Halifax, and was commended for her remarkable story of recovery.

Ms Taylor suffered from depression since she was eight years old, and was heavily medicated till she was around 20. She sought counselling and psychiatry and was on 21 tablets a day for nearly 25 years.

She told the Yorkshire Standard: “As time went on, I was medicated more and that’s what people knew how to do.

“About two years ago, when I was starting to feel a little better, I asked for some extra support and it was refused because I already had everything. And at that point, I felt so let down.”

She asked her psychiatrist, “have you given up on me?,” to which he never answered.

Ms Taylor said: “To me that spoke volumes. If they had given up on me what hope had I got? If the person who was paid to support me wasn’t actually supporting, someone needed to help those who are in the same position.

“Mental health problems happen to so many people and it will affect everyone. Be it they who suffer with it, someone from their family or their friend. So I feel that now I need to put something back.”

Ms Taylor shares her story of recovery to people all over the country, inspiring doctors, psychiatrists and professionals alike.

In May, she was invited to attend The Queen’s garden party after the Lord Lieutenant heard her story when he visited The Artworks 1830 Gallery in Halifax.

The Gallery played a great role in helping her discover her hidden talent for art when she started drawing in 2011.

She recounted: “I was over the moon and was in shock. I felt weird most of my life and have been treated as a nobody all my life, and yet here I was being asked to go to the Queen’s garden party.

“It was an absolutely honour and even if I hadn’t been accepted, I would still have been honoured to be nominated.”

Now 16 months medication free, Ms Taylor works from her own studio based at The Exchange Mills in Elland, and does voluntary work for mental health charity Healthy Minds Calderdale and her local food bank.

She said: “If you do what you like and do it, it gives you confidence. And that’s how I’ve grown. I’m only one person and I’ve had no voice in my life. But now I have a voice, I’m not invisible and I know I’m making a difference.”

Ms Taylor also happened to confront her psychiatrist, whom she felt gave up on her.

She recounted: “He was asking me questions, and even as I walked out of the door he kept asking me questions. He was listening to me, telling him how to do his job better.

“I told him his silence spoke volumes to me, and there could’ve been a bad outlook that day because I could’ve left and done the unthinkable. But I turned my life around. He might’ve given up on me but I didn’t give up on myself.”

About the Author

Hasan Faridi

- Hasan is the founder and editor-in chief of the Yorkshire Standard. A BA Hons graduate from the University of Huddersfield, he has over four years of experience in newspapers, magazines and radio.

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  1. Rachel Green says:

    She is an inspiration to those suffering depression I know Debs well and know what she has been through….I am the proud owner of one of her paintings….she is really gifted as an artist and I’m so proud she as used her newly found talent to raise above the demon of depression…well done Debs x x x

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