John: 'I was depressed in the army'
My name is John. I proudly served in the British Army Royal Logistics Corp as a chef.
My first posting was Northern Ireland. While a serving soldier I was diagnosed with severe depression.
I left the army in 2003 and my mental health and well-being was at an all-time low due to being conditioned to ‘muster on through it’. I continued in this way for the next 10 years. Then in 2014 I got in touch with Glasgow’s Helping Heroes.
When I attended my initial interview, I was welcomed into a small office to discuss my issues with a staff member who was ex-military. When I disclosed my current situation and how I was living, it was reassuring to hear that the staff member had lived the same experiences, had overcome their troubles with the right support and now were in a position to help people who may still be struggling. It helped me to be open and honest with them as I knew that they had lived this and it wasn’t something they had learned at university.
I was given the opportunity to attend a 16-week programme around well-being and lifestyle which has absolutely changed my life from having nothing to do and being isolated to having a purpose and a meaning. Plus, it was good to mix with other veterans who were in similar situations. It made me realise I wasn’t alone by meeting these new people. But what I needed the most was advice and guidance and I have been advised correctly step by step at my own pace.
I sometimes have bad days but know I can phone my worker and they will not judge me and at all times they will treat me with respect and empathy
|This article reflects the experience of the individual. It is not health information from the Men's Health Forum under the terms of the NHS England Information Standard.|