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World Mental Health Day: An Aldershot man's story

3 minute read
World Mental Health Day: An Aldershot man's story

Published by Carol Musgrave at 7:04am 10th October 2019. (Updated at 8:00am 10th October 2019)

An Aldershot man opens up about his experience with mental health problems.

On World Mental Health Day, 40 year old Victor tells us how he was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder eight years ago - after years of his life spiralling out of control:

"It has impacted on my family, my relationships, my work.

"It's created a lot of instability in my life to the point where I could build up my life, have what people would see as a normal life, work, partner, home, and then I would go into a cycle where I would lose everything and I'd have to start again.

"I had to do that several times in my life."

The theme for this year's World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention.

Victor describes how he suffered from suicidal thoughts from a young age:

"My first thoughts of suicide were at age 8 or 9.

"They were reoccurring, and then they became more powerful later on in my life.

"I made some feeble attempts (at suicide) and there was one very serious attempt."

After struggling through on his own, suffering from anxiety, depression and substance abuse, Victor was diagnosed in 2011.

He eventually sought treatment in 2013 from the health services and charities such as Community Connections and Catalyst in Guildford, which helps people affected by stress, anxiety and depression, as well as drug and alcohol problems.

While clinically he still has the traits of BDP, he has been in recovery since then, and says he is in "a much better place now".

Victor has since been involved in Catalyst's annual football tournament which has been held on World Mental Health Day for the past three years.

The charity works with two community  mental health football teams and is hosting the event today which will include 16 teams from around the country, including from the emergency services.

Victor said it is an ideal opportunity for the emergency services in particular to interact with people they have helped over the years:

"We get people involved from the services, who usually see the dark side of mental health.

"We get police or ambulance and fire services involved so they can see people in recovery, enjoying life again, instead of when they have to pick them up from somewhere." 

Victor said sport was something he always enjoyed growing up, and that it has helped him with social interaction at times in his life when he was very isolated.

The event is being held at the Elmbridge Xcel in Walton on Thames, from 10:30am to 4pm.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. 



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