Par­ents feared son would kill him­self

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - News -

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.

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