“I remember the exact moment it started.” 

“It was the first day of secondary school and I was a few minutes late for one of my classes. The teacher screamed in my face and told me to sit down. For a long time I didn’t get past that moment. It affected me all through secondary school and beyond. I felt that I couldn’t talk to anyone, that I was totally alone.”

Now 40, Imran has a happy life, living in Glasgow with his wife and three children. But it took him a long time, and a suicide attempt, to get here.

“When I started secondary school, I found it really hard to talk to people. I tried to fit in with the other children but I always seemed to be left by myself.  

“I was bullied constantly, not physically, but verbally and psychologically. I started to think it would be better if I were beaten up because at least then there would be physical signs that something was wrong.  

“I would try to avoid going to school because the anxiety would make me feel sick. Every night I would go to sleep just hoping and praying that I wouldn’t wake up in the morning.

“When I went to university, I hoped to make a fresh start; but I still found it difficult to talk to people and ended up feeling isolated again. 

“I was a total wreck, both academically and emotionally, and would be in tears if the slightest thing happened. I was painfully shy so I would avoid social interaction at all costs.  

“I couldn’t finish a term of study because of anxiety. I was in a vicious circle that I couldn’t see any way out of. 

“The one time I did have the courage to speak out, I went to the doctor and explained what I was going through but I felt brushed off. 

“One day I woke up and decided I was going to take my own life.

“After my suicide attempt, someone actually came to my hospital bedside to offer me support. I couldn’t believe that I had to end up in this state for someone to finally take notice.

“I was diagnosed with depression at that point, but I had been struggling for more than ten years. 

With help from SAMH, I slowly and steadily started to build up my self-respect, self-confidence and self-esteem.

Over the next few years I was seen by several psychologists and psychiatrists and prescribed anti-depressants. 

“There was no one person that helped, instead I took a little something away from all of them.

“I went back to work and started to go through the motions but was still finding it hard to lead a normal life. I was emotional all of the time and my paranoia stopped me from doing normal everyday things.

“That’s when I contacted SAMH. They connected me with their befriending service that helped me to go out in a safe setting and interact with the outside world.

With help from SAMH, I slowly and steadily started to build up my self-respect, self-confidence and self-esteem.

“Now I have the greatest family, the greatest job and the greatest life I ever thought I could have. My confidence is so high and I now feel there is nothing that is beyond my reach.

“People need to know that there is someone to talk to, who will listen and try to help.   

“There is nothing shameful or embarrassing in asking for help. No matter how bleak things may seem, there is a way out of the darkness.” 

Speak to someone today

You can call the Samaritans for free 24 hours a day on 116 123.

Breathing Space is a confidential listening service, call free on 0800 83 85 87.

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