Gavin Aslin, a businessman starting out in Horsham, is sharing his account of how he got back on track after being diagnosed with depression.
He told the County Times that he wants to get the message out that not everyone who is told they have depression needs to resign themself to a lifelong struggle.
“I’m trying to get the message out there to say that you can be low, you can be down,” he said.
“It doesn’t take much, with the right support and help, to get you back up there.”
Gavin grew up in Broadfield, with parents who had long term health problems hampered their working lives.
As a teenager, he found himself looking up to people in his extended family who had well-paid jobs, and he decided he wanted to follow in their footsteps.
Gavin got a job selling cars for a Vauxhall dealership in Crawley.
“In my first year I sold about 230 cars - I did really well,” he said. “I consistently sold 200 to 230 cars a year.”
He bought his first house at 22, got married and started a family.
In 2007, when his wife Sarah suggested he try something new, Gavin found a job selling property in Dubai.
Two years in telesales - including one month in which he sold more than £1m worth of property - established Gavin’s reputation as a high flying salesman.
After the credit crunch put a stop to that line of work he went back to cars, excelling as a salesman with Crawley Audi.
However he had to work most weekends which, with his oldest daughter starting school, meant he hardly ever got to spend a day with her.
“I’m passionate about my work, but the reason I’ve always been passionate is that I want to do well, and do it for my family,” he said.
Gavin changed to a job selling franking machines, which offered similar money without the need to work weekends.
A few months later, never having become enthusiastic about the franking machine business, he returned to his previous job at Crawley Audi.
“I was doing well for a couple of weeks,” he said, “but something went on in my head that I felt I’d failed.”
Apart from having walked away from a job, he was back to working weekends again.
After a couple of months he began to feel extremely low, which affected his work and, as he got worse, focused all of his thinking on himself.
“I started to not think about my children and my wife - it was all about me,” he said.
Visits to doctors and to counsellors ultimately made him feel worse.
Since his mother suffers from bipolar disorder, doctors were quick to conclude that he had a permanent problem which could only be controlled by medication, while counsellors would inevitably focus on the negative things in his life.
A workmate recommended he try meeting Nigel Gaff, a spiritualist medium who might be able to act as a life coach for him.
After one session, including some relaxation techniques and a bit of encouragement to help him look on the positive side, Gavin found he was able to get back on top of his work.
“He said to me: ‘You’re still that top salesman, you just don’t think you are,’” said Gavin.
“All I was thinking about was the bad things in my life. By talking about how I was feeling all the time, I was getting worse.”
With his work for Audi picking up, Gavin was headhunted by Resort Group property developers, who wanted him to employ corporate companies and to train them to sell there resorts in Cape Verde.
He is now setting up in business as a broker for Resort Group, offering their Cape Verdi properties for sale to investors.
Investments of £10,000 or more will be guaranteed a return of seven per cent.
A three day launch event for investors, from Thursday July 18 to Saturday July 20, 9am to 8pm, is being held at his offices in Citibase, The Courtyard, 30 Worthing Road, Horsham.
For more information call (01403) 793773, email email@example.com or visit www.idreaminvestments.com