I joined the Police Force at 17 and served almost 20 years, attaining the rank of Detective Sergeant before being medically discharged in 2000, suffering from severe stress and depression directly linked to my service. My list of symptoms make it very likely that I was suffering with undiagnosed PTSD.

As a front line officer initially, followed by years as a detective I experienced all kinds of work-related trauma, including fatal road traffic accidents, murders, rapes, armed robberies, serious assaults, organised drug offences, child abuse cases, surveillance and covert policing, all of which had traumatic effects on me that I was unaware of at the time. I just knew that something was not right.

Apart from a few particularly traumatic incidents, my issues were a gradual build up of smaller unresolved matters, usually dealt with by the “pull yourself together”, “get on with it” or “have another pint” advice of colleagues. There was never any formal support for anyone struggling in this way and as a detective I dared not speak out for fear of being seen as weak and not “one of the boys”, believing I would end my career. My default method of dealing with any uncomfortable issues was to drink excessively in order to blank them out.

Outside of work I found it almost impossible to maintain any kind of long term relationship. My mood swings and temper outbursts became more and more frequent eventually leading to the irretrievable breakdown of any relationship I had. My parents and siblings were by no means immune to my moods. My work suffered too. I was continually in conflict with senior officers and colleagues to the point where I was seen as something of a liability. I was good at the job but the collateral damage was always a problem.

I spent years seeking resolution for my issues through both conventional NHS systems and a few off the wall practitioners, all the time keeping my troubles to myself for fear of ending my career. I took untold amounts of prescription drugs on advice of various doctors and psychiatrists. None of these methods even scratched the surface and matters continued to get worse culminating in my medical discharge.

Having removed the main source of the traumatic incidents I levelled off and began to get a more realistic grip on life, making some major life change decisions, including moving to the other side of the country and “starting again”. I had not, however, resolved all the past issues and they would continue to raise their ugly head every now and then.

It was only after meeting Rob and talking over things that I realised there was an alternative that made sense to me. Through Rob, Mick and Talking2Minds I finally found a treatment that truly worked.

Having resolved my troubles I could clearly see the benefit to so many of my ex-colleagues who were obviously suffering in silence like me, as well as many others, thatI decided to get involved. I qualified as a Talking2Minds Synergie Practitioner with the aim of assisting others to shed their burdens and move on in life.

Thank you for opening my mind and enabling me to see things how they really are.