Parents feared son would kill himself
TEENAGER George Hodgson faced a 40-week wait for NHS treatment when he started suffering from panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder.
The 16-year-old was washing his hands up to 100 times a day, could not go out without his parents and was so crippled by anxiety he considered killing himself.
His parents were so terrified about what he might do while waiting for help on the NHS, they paid for private therapy.
George, now 22, of Winchester, Hampshire, said: “It scares me to think what would have happened if my parents hadn’t been able to afford for me to go private. I was in that very, very dark place having suicidal thoughts. I’d be at a bus stop or a train station, and I’d think, ‘Why don’t I just jump?’
“It was almost like a psychosis. My world shrunk. I was confined to my bedroom, I didn’t want to go out, I cut off my friends.
“It’s terrifying to hear young people are waiting as long as three years. I was lucky to be able to go private. But many children don’t have that option.”
George, now recovered after three years of treatment, visits schools, colleges and universities encouraging young people to open up about mental health.
He has also launched a mental health-themed fashion brand called Maison de Choup.