Survivor sees the positives after attempt to take life

Despite his ordeals Darren Cook has recognised the improvement in his life.
Despite his ordeals Darren Cook has recognised the improvement in his life. Tony Martin

WHEN Darren Cook tried to take his life, it wasn't because he wanted to die.

"Suicide is not something I tried when at the lowest of lows. It was on the rebound," he said.

"I was aware of a spectrum of problems I felt were mine and wanted them to get better but anxiety overcame me."

Scorching his hand with boiling water without feeling it in 2009 marked the beginning of a dark chapter in Mr Cook's life.

During 18 months it took to pinpoint the nerve problem he was taking 26 pills for depression and pain every day.

"I became like a chemical monster," he said.

"(Taking pills) just alters everything about you.

He lost his marriage, business and relationships.

From earning $6000 a week, he was incapable of supporting himself.

While he blocked out periods of that time, he recalled the day he decided to end it all perfectly.

"I couldn't answer why something triggered that afternoon," he said.

"Anxiety overcame me."

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He tried to take his own life, but was unsuccessful.

From hospital he went into mental health treatment at the end of 2013.

Other stories of first-hand experiences helped his recovery.

He warned people against thinking about suicide in stereotypes.

"Stereotypes minimise the problem.

"People all have different problems and fixing all of them is different," he said.

Three months ago he had a moment of clarity when he realised there are now improvements in his life.

"I had a fallout with a family member.

"It would have been a trigger moment for me a few years ago," he said.

"But I reacted differently. I could still see positives," Mr Cook said.

IF YOU NEED HELP:    Lifeline 131 114 Headspace 1800 650 890 Mackay Integrated Mental Health 4968 3893 Beyondblue 1300 224 636

Topics:  awareness depression mackay prevention suicide survivor

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