I started out as an idealistic, capable constable who believed he had a lifelong, worthwhile and challenging career. Then as promotion, responsibility and workload increased, I changed. My work and relationships suffered. I was angry, burdened by worry and convinced I was a failure. I became plagued by physical symptoms that had no explanation.
I increasingly felt that I should end my life, and I attempted to do so. After this, I was invalided out of the force and told I would never work again, diagnosed with what is now called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety. I found myself just sitting at home.
My turning point came when I planned to take my own life again. I stopped and told someone else, something that I’d never considered doing before. With the help of my doctors, hospitalisation and a perceptive and loving wife, I survived. I have gone on to fill responsible and enjoyable positions.
Over 30 years later, I’ve gone from detective in charge of a police station to being a member of the Lived Experience Panel for the peak body for suicide prevention in Australia. I’m providing part of the pool of knowledge to understand the problem, and in some small way to assist with solutions. I hope I can prevent others suffering as I did.
To anyone that is thinking of taking your own life, please pause just a moment. It is too big a problem to go it alone, tell someone about your problems. The help offered by others will make all the difference and open up a new world. I’ve lived a long life with my conditions, I am accomplished and satisfied, and most importantly I can now accept support and love, and provide them in return.