I’m living proof that if you get the right help things can get better. Wayne attempted suicide four times before he realised he had a problem and sought help, he shares his story with us below to help others.
I was 17 and at catering college when I first tried to kill myself. I took tablets and was violently ill, but I didn’t tell anyone. The second time, five years later, I was working and living in London as a chef. I took more tablets and was violently sick for three days, but I went back to my job and still didn’t tell anyone. The third attempt failed because the belt I used snapped so I was unconscious but still alive.
I didn’t see suicide as a mental health problem
At 33 and working abroad I tried again, this time slashing my wrists. It was as I was doing it I realised, for the first time in my life, that I had a problem. Thinking back I had been unwell since I was around 12. But I just didn’t see suicide as a mental health problem; I felt a failure but only because I couldn’t see it through.
I finally told my parents
It took another attempt for me to seek professional help. I then moved back to Liverpool but within a year I started feeling suicidal again. I went to my GP and told him about my experiences. He prescribed me antidepressants and I was referred to hospital.
I was working in IT when eight years later the feelings came back. I realised that I had to tell my parents. It was a big step to take; I knew they would be shocked hearing it for the first time. They blamed themselves but they are fantastic parents. My brothers and I had a brilliant childhood and I only have happy memories.
I was urged not to rush back to work
My dad took me to the GP then to A&E where I was referred to Broadoak Unit. My team there said I had never allowed myself time to recover and urged me not to rush back to work.
I finally took their advice. I’m so grateful to my employment advisor Lin Seerey; she helped me think about what I really wanted to do and how I could get the skills to do it.
I wanted to support people in the same position but getting a job wasn't easy. As soon as I mentioned my chronic depression,even though it was under control, the people interviewing me would change and I wouldn't get the job.
I faced rejection after rejection, but with help from the Recovery College I was able to get a job. When I was told I’d got it I cried.
I still have anxiety but through the anxiety management and self esteem course at the college I’ve developed ways of coping. I’ve done stand up comedy and I spoke at a conference for social workers – I was sweating and my heart was racing but I did it!
I'd say to someone in my position, please don’t suffer in silence like I did for so many years. I don’t like having regrets in life but a regret I do have is not seeking help sooner than I did. We all need a little bit of help sometimes. Although I have done my bit my employment advisor, the Recovery College and my psychiatrist have really helped me turn my life around for the better. I am living proof that if you get the right help things can get better. Your life can improve like mine has. Please seek help.
Watch Wayne's story on our YouTube page by clicking HERE.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50. Men are three times more likely to take there own lives than women, with the highest prevalence being for men aged 40 to 44.
Although the majority of people that struggle with depression do not die by suicide, having depression does increase the risk for suicide.