Lady in red who beat the blues

Pageant queen suf­fered de­pres­sion

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Jonathan Ged­des

A To­ry­glen woman has told how she over­came de­pres­sion to take part in a beauty pageant.

The Re­former pre­vi­ously re­ported that Stephanie Dono­van, of Ard­na­hoe Av­enue, was to take part in the UK Power Pageant grand fi­nal.

But a year ago Stephanie would never have been able to stand on stage in front of a packed crowd.

She said: “I couldn’t even leave the house some days be­cause of the anx­i­ety of hav­ing to talk to peo­ple.

“Some­times it’s tiring to pre­tend you’re OK and smile when you just feel empty.

“A year ago there’s no way in hell I could have spo­ken to a big crowd of peo­ple, never mind stand on a stage with a mi­cro­phone or pa­rade around on­stage in a bikini.

“That’s why I threw my­self into the pageant. Peo­ple were say­ing I could win but for me it was all about the con­fi­dence build­ing and throw­ing my­self into some­thing where I wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily com­fort­able and I had to do it to come out of my shell.”

Stephanie, who works as a re­cep­tion­ist at the King’s Park ho­tel, re­alised she needed to seek help af­ter she started to cut peo­ple out of her life.

She said: “I had a mas­sive break­down last year and ended up not show­ing up for work.

“I was cut­ting ev­ery­one out. I’d been on a night out and I’d had an ar­gu­ment with my boyfriend and it spi­ralled from there.

“The small­est thing could trig­ger it and that makes it hard to talk about to other peo­ple.

“They might say the small­est thing to you, like ‘oh, you’re grumpy to­day,’ and that can just trig­ger a cer­tain mood where you keep think­ing no one is there for you and ev­ery­one is get­ting down on you.

“So the small­est thing sets it off and that makes it hard to talk about, be­cause you’re em­bar­rassed and don’t want peo­ple to judge you.”

Stephanie is now cop­ing much bet­ter with her prob­lems.

Although she did not win the pageant, she had a great time tak­ing part and felt her con­fi­dence took a mas­sive lift as a re­sult.

She said: “It was fan­tas­tic. We were treated like celebri­ties all week­end and spoiled.

“Ev­ery­one was so lovely and friendly. The minute you needed help with some­thing then some­one would give you a hand.

“There was about 30 girls, all there just hav­ing a laugh, and there wasn’t any bad at­mos­phere at all.

“I thought I would be shy or un­com­fort­able but be­cause ev­ery­one was lovely and boost­ing ev­ery­one else’s con­fi­dence then I just kept all that in mind.

“Watch­ing the other girls, I thought ‘if they can do that then I can do that’ and I was just beam­ing. It was a great feel­ing.”

Now Stephanie is hop­ing to con­tinue mod­el­ling and al­ready has an in­ter­view with an agency com­ing up.

Any­one who is con­cerned they are suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion should con­tact their lo­cal GP or visit

Bat­tle Stephanie has had is­sues with de­pres­sion since she was young

Model Stephanie on stage

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