PhD student at the University of Cambridge committed suicide after & # 39; falling apart & # 39; stress, the court reports

James O & Shea, 22, was found dead at Darwin College on January 20 after taking his own life. He is seen here in an undated photo

James O & Shea, 22, was found dead at Darwin College on January 20 after taking his own life. He is seen here in an undated photo

A doctoral student from the University of Cambridge committed suicide in his halls of residence after & # 39; falling apart & # 39; due to stress, an investigation today.

James O & Shea, 22, returned home to live with his mother in the summer of 2017 after obtaining a master's degree from the University of Bristol, where he told doctors that she was & # 39; depressed and becoming deeper & # 39; felt.

At his Cambridge office until January 2018, he visited the local doctor four times to talk about his mental health struggle and prescribed the anti-depressant Citalopram before being asked to return 14 days later.

The judicial investigation, however, learned that his operation did not see him again until October when the mother of O & # 39; Shea, Kate O & # 39; Shea & # 39 ;, doubted he might want to commit suicide.

O & # 39; Shea also shared that he wished to die and seriously considered jumping off a cliff & # 39; and & # 39; to write notes & # 39; to relatives.

His legal investigation, however, learned that he often hid how he really felt with the NHS staff and with a private confidant with whom he spoke online.

Mrs. O & # 39; Shea said: & # 39; James was terrified of being cut. He made a good face for people.

& # 39; He would pour out his heart to me and then come back and say, "Now I'm fine.

& # 39; He had seen his uncle in a mental home and it had a big impact on him, he was really disturbed. & # 39;

O & # 39; Shea took up his duties at Darwin College in Cambridge in January 2018 and was found dead on the 20th of that month.

His mother said he & # 39; fell apart & # 39; because of the stress of his studies.

During the investigation, Bursar of Darwin College, Cambridge John Dix, was asked by the coroner: "Do we see many suicides?" [at universities].

Mr. Dix replied: & # 39; Some have described the growth of mental health problems in universities as an epidemic & # 39 ;.

O & # 39; Shea has been diagnosed with low-level Asperger & # 39; s as a child, the inquest was told.

Action For Asperger's online counselor, Ryan Tebbit, said that he was doing well in the 11 sessions he spent with the student & # 39 ;.

& # 39; He was looking for answers and knew it could be hard to look at yourself & # 39 ;, Tebbit said.

& # 39; James was determined to work hard and I felt we worked well and had mutual respect and trust. I had no worries that he would kill himself.

& # 39; He found social interactions very difficult, he thought there was a good way to do things and a wrong way to do things, and he was embarrassed when he did things wrong. & # 39;

O & # 39; Shea did not announce to the University of Bristol in his four-year study that he was diagnosed with Asperger.

The talented student & # 39; held & # 39; of his family and work, but found that he & # 39; a social failure & # 39; the study reported.

David O & # 39; Shea

David O & # 39; Shea

Kate O & # 39; Shea

Kate O & # 39; Shea

Mr. O & Shea, David and Kate's parents arrive today at the Coroner & # 39; s Court in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. For confidential support, visit or call 116 123

The court was told that the police had found a handwritten note that Mr. O & # 39; Shea had written before his death.

Today, during his investigation, his father David O & Shea told the court how he & # 39; wellbeing & # 39; could deteriorate during the time he finished his masters.

David, divorced from his former wife, said: & James lived most of his time in Cornwall with his mother. He visited with his sister.

& # 39; In 2017 it was clear that his well-being was declining. I thought it was stress. He told me he was in the library until 11 p.m. I would call and he was in the library. & # 39;

Mrs. O & # 39; Shea also told the court that it was clear that James & # 39; burned out & # 39; was when he returned from Bristol.

She said: & # 39; He was looking for support. He spoke to general practitioners hoping to receive some cognitive behavioral therapy.

& # 39; He prescribed Citalopram, he took it sporadically. He became more suicidal and we think he made an effort in his life.

& # 39; When he took Citalopram, it became clear that he became more demotivated and eventually started leading his own life. & # 39;

Citalopram is a type of antidepressant that is often used to treat depression and sometimes also for panic attacks. Citalopram helps many people recover from depression.

Mrs. O & # 39; Shea added: & # 39; We had every hope that he would flourish at the University of Bristol. He had to make contact with other paleontologists and struggled without them.

& # 39; He was a pleasure to be around, but never understood his gift. His dissertation was groundbreaking and he had incredible comic timing. & # 39;

His father David also told the court that O & Shea was afraid to tell his classmates that he had Asperger.

He added: & # 39; He wanted to tell friends that he had Asperger unless they treated him differently. & # 39;

David had agreed to meet his son on January 20.

He said: & # 39; I have arrived [at the Cambridge halls of residence – Darwin College] at 12.45 and did not answer my phone calls or ringed on his flat door.

& # 39; I decided to wait, at one point between 2 and 3 o'clock someone with whom he lived took me to the doorman and we opened the door using the spare key.

& # 39; That was when I found James face down in the cupboard. & # 39;

The investigation showed that O & # 39; Shea had taken his own life and that there was no question of a third party.

For visit a confidential support or call 116 123.