April 22, 2015

This blog talks about issues that may be triggering to some readers

This is the story of the last few years of my life - it's about times when I've been unwell, but still felt able to talk about my mental health issues.James blog When I started university in 2011 I began to seek help for a few aspects of my health and well-being that had been bothering me – I found out that I have dyslexia, that I may have ADD, and that I experience anxiety and depression. Searching back through my life during therapy sessions at university helped me to look at the root causes of my mental health issues; my granddad passed away in 2010 and this left a hole in my life. It turned out there was various aspects of anxiety that affected my childhood, and laid the foundations for more serious problems. I went through weeks of counselling with the university mental health worker who really helped me to understand what was going on and what had caused these problems that I was facing. The combination of my mental health and other conditions created a huge tangled web of unexplained problems that will take time to fully understand - that process is still very much in progress.

I found a friend to support and talk to with about mental health

Later on down the line in March 2014, I took a big step and took a job offer 300 miles away from the only home I'd know for over two decades. This was a great move and the first few months were extremely positive and I felt almost like a new person, however this was short lived as aspects of my living circumstances changed and my workload increased along with the inevitable home sickness that followed. In November of the same year I self presented to A&E on the advice of the NHS 111 service due to intense suicidal feelings - during this phase my eating became disordered and I was isolating myself. Shortly before this occurred (back in the summer) one of my closest friends revealed a plan to take his own life – I talked him round - now speak freely about mental health and we even accompany each other to appointment on occasions.

With support from family and friends, I am almost certain I can live a long and healthy life

After my hospital incident, and some heavy intervention from my bosses at work, I called my mum and asked to move back home. A few days later I was back home in the pub with my friends and it felt like a huge relief. There was a financial mess and some problems to be solved but I felt I was in a much better position to tackle my problems and recover, which would enable me to be in a much stronger position in the near future. Right now I am waiting to be assessed for ADD, starting a new job which is more flexible and I am on medication. I am also working to improve my diet and cycle more to fight the big ‘black dog’. There is a long road in front of me but, with support from family and friends, I am almost certain I can recover and live a long and healthy life.

If you are struggling in any way, talk about it

This is just part of my story - there are many more incidents and complex details to it but never enough words. I hold hope that I will untangle the web and eventually will be able to manage the symptoms and challenges I face throughout the rest of my life. As a 23 year old I should have many years ahead of me which, on my best days, really does excite me and motivate me. If you feel like you are struggling in any way with anything at home, university, work, go to your doctor, teacher, manager, friend or family member and talk about it.

What do you think about the issues raised in this blog?

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If you are experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support you can contact the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or by emailing jo@samaritans.org or these help and support services.

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Too many people are made to feel ashamed. By sharing your story, you can help spread knowledge and perspective about mental illness that could change the way people think about it.


My Son

My son Matt took his life on Monday 20 April. He was 19. He had mental health issues. His problems started not long after he started University in September 2013 when he started hearing voices telling him to hurt himself. He received a 35 minute with a Counsellor and no further support. The following year he attempted suicide 3 times, twice at University and then once more back home with us, that was on the 5 December 2014. He received little or no support on each of these occasions. As a family we begged for help and for him to be sectioned literally anything. No one could offer a diagnosis or pinpoint anything. No medication. He had 6 sessions with a psychologist as treatment then they discharged him. He originally planned to take his life on Thursday 19 March but circumstances stopped this as we found his diary hidden in his room. He hung himself and was pronounced dead at 12.08pm Monday of this week. We miss him so much. Our hearts are broken. He was an identical twin. His brother is inconsolable. Mental health needs to be addressed. People need to talk. They need support and treatment. Thank you for reading this.

Your loss

Vicky Thank you for sharing. I just found this blog today and while I've been diagnosed with depression and GAD thankfully my twin 19 year old boys are healthy. Your story has reminded me to watch carefully for signs and give them the care and support they need even after they have left the house

My son

I feel for you and your family on the sad loss of your Son. The lack of support and help your Son needed is a tragedy and Mental Health Services need a massive shake up to change this and offer Quicker, better help for all. God bless you and your Family x

Its saddening to know about

Its saddening to know about your son. May god give you and your family the strength to overcome it. But please don`t heart your and your other child`s mental health because of this. I am talking about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Please gather yourself and whole of your family. I am praying for you.


I too have always struggled with depression and anxiety, a lot of people in my family have as well. Depression is something that can run through a family line which could be inevitable to some people. It is nice to know that you aren't alone when it comes to dealing with the things that contribute to depression and anxiety. I personally have started taking some antidepressants to try to help cope with some of my anxiety and depression because its beginning to take effect on my personal relationships. Antidepressants, however, do not work on every individual but it's nice to know that there are other therapy techniques to help with the disorders. Keeping your head up and having a strong support system is very beneficial!

James your story is scarily

James your story is scarily like mine. I moved abroad as part of my university degree and was completely unable to cope. I ended up coming home with financial repercussions also. I suspect that I have ADD also despite achieving good grades and being able to focus when I was younger it seems now that all I am is anxious and worried. You seem like you have made amazing progress. Best of luck to you in the future. I hope you're life is a long and happy one.

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