Teacher kills himself about paralyzing fear while walking in the Himalayas
A teacher killed himself months after he had heard an interrogation during a hike to the Himalayas with a paralyzing altitude sickness.
Paul Connell, 33, was found dead on the bottom of the cliffs at his home in Ramsgate, Kent, after struggling with anxiety after the incident, leaving his family a note with & # 39; Voices in my head & # 39 ;. I apologize. I love you all x & # 39 ;.
He traveled through Asia with his wife Lisa last September when he was hit by the 10,000-foot disease in the Annapurna Mountains in Nepal, which injured him so much that he sent his mother Donna Ayres a text saying he wanted himself & # 39; discard & # 39 ;. mountain & # 39 ;.
Although he was an air lift at the hospital and seemed to have recovered, Connell and his wife returned to Kent months later due to his homesickness.
After his landing at Heathrow, he was taken directly to the hospital by his mother after she described him as & # 39; looking like a heroin addict & # 39 ;.
The investigation showed that he was in and out of the hospital between February and March and tried to contact his doctor 21 times the day before he died on March 26.
Paul Connell, on the right with his wife Lisa, committed suicide after months of developing altitude sickness while the couple hit the Annapurna area in Nepal in October 2018,
The former teacher, 33, pictured with his wife in Vietnam, began to suffer from anxiety after the incident and while awaiting treatment in Nepal, his mother sent a message to Donna that he wanted to throw himself off the mountain.
Mrs. Connell, pictured with Paul, said she wants to warn others of the dangers of mental health problems after her husband struggled to get treatment when she was back in Kent.
Connell, pictured on the left with Lisa on their wedding day in 2014 and on the right in Sri Lanka, was described as a & # 39; really happy guy & # 39; for altitude sickness
It is not the first time altitude is related to mental health problems, with Olympic gold medalist Victoria Pendleton who previously revealed that she was depressed last year after she had ever attempted to climb Mount Everest.
She said that lack of oxygen on the highest mountain in the world gave her a sense of suicidality.
In the meantime, research published in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry in 2018 shows that people at high altitudes in the United States more often commit suicide and are depressed.
Mrs Connell has now spoken out to warn others of the deterioration of mental health.
The 35-year-old said: & Paul was a very lucky guy, he had a great life and he didn't suffer from depression or anxiety.
& # 39; It was something that happened really fast, very intense in such a short time.
& # 39; This can happen to anyone, it can happen to the strongest people physically and mentally.
& # 39; Someone can change, someone can suddenly hit his head. You just never know. & # 39;
Mr. and Mrs. Connell traveled during a trip of a lifetime to Nepal and left in September last year.
The couple met in Australia, pictured, in 2012 and married two years later. They previously lived in Vietnam, where they worked as English teachers
A study in Canterbury heard that Mr. Connell, pictured with his wife in Nepal, had not shown any mental health problems before the trek
The 33-year-old, pictured in Thailand, initially recovered after being taken to the hospital with an air bridge, but after a few months of traveling in Asia he was still homesick
They were to stay in the area for two months, but Mr Connell suddenly had panic attacks and serious panic attacks and could not sleep.
While he was up there, he texted his mother to say he wanted to jump off.
Mrs. Connell said her husband fell ill so quickly that he paid for a helicopter to take him back to the foot of the mountains.
The Annapurna Range is one of the most dangerous to climb in the world.
The peaks, including the tenth highest mountain in the world, Annapurna I Main, kill nearly a third of those who try to climb them with 61 dead on 191 top rises.
In October 2014, at least 43 people died from snowstorms and avalanches in and around Annapurna, the worst trekking disaster ever in Nepal.
After leaving the Himalayas, Mr. Connell soon.
He recovered for a few months as the couple traveled on to India, before ending up in a spiral of depression and insomnia, from which he never recovered.
Mrs. Connell said her husband returned home in February after sleeping. His mother Donna then brought him directly to the hospital after claiming that he & # 39; looked like a heroin addict & # 39;
Although he tried to be treated for anxiety and depression, he could not get a bed in a private treatment center and was not recommended for specialized NHS services after an initial assessment
Mrs. Connell, pictured with Paul on their wedding day, said her husband suffered panic attacks despite medication
While he slept, Mr. Connell flew home in the first week of February to Ramsgate, where his mother took him directly from the airport to A&E at the QEQM hospital in Margate.
She told an investigation into his death that he was there & # 39; as a heroin addict & # 39; when she met him from his flight.
Connell was counseling but struggled to get a hold of his anxiety and doctors remained stunned by his case because he had never suffered from psychological problems before the Himalayan walk.
The investigation at the Coroner & # 39; s Court of Canterbury found that Mr. Connell committed suicide on March 26.
Connell met his wife in Sydney in January 2012 while both were working in Australia.
The couple attached great importance to a shared love of travel and adventure and then traveled through Southeast Asia before settling in Hanoi, Vietnam, and working as English teachers.
They married in July 2014 in a small ceremony on a beach in Vietnam, which Mrs. Connell described as & # 39; perfect & # 39 ;.
They made their home in Vietnam but came back to visit family during Christmas 2017 after Mr Connell's older sister, Aimee, diagnosed cancer.
She died on Christmas Day, but Mrs. Connell said her husband had dealt with death.
Mr. Connell, pictured in Nepal, even tried to injure himself with a rock in the hospital earlier this year
It was this that inspired the couple to travel again – and to tap a number of places off their wish list, including Nepal and India.
But it was about six weeks after their trip to the Himalayas that Connell fell ill.
Mrs. Connell from Derry, Northern Ireland, said: “Once he was down that mountain, he was the same normal happy Paul again.
& # 39; He embraced the first few months of India, he was happy. & # 39;
But when the couple arrived in Bangalore in January, Connell stopped sleeping again.
Mrs. Connell said: & he just gets so frustrated and anxious. Paul woke up one evening at four o'clock and told him to go home.
& # 39; I thought we could just go very quietly somewhere, but he just had it in his head that he wanted to go home. & # 39;
Connell returned to his family's worries, but said he would try to get well so that he could get back to his wife.
Although she was so worried about him, she flew back to the UK five days later.
When she saw him, she was shocked by his condition.
She added: & # 39; I could see he still had panic attacks, and this is the point he started talking about dark thoughts. & # 39;
Mrs. Connell took him back to the hospital and said he started crying and begged for doctors: "If you need to calm me down, sleep, please let me sleep."
They did physical checks on Mr. Connell, but couldn't find anything wrong.
Mrs. Connell said, "We hoped that something physical would appear." Something that would explain why Paul was like that, because this person was no longer the Paul we all knew and loved. It was like a different person. & # 39;
In the hospital he tried to injure himself with a stone.
The couple, pictured in India, also went to see Mrs. Connell's family in Northern Ireland trying to take advantage of a different environment
He was given antidepressants and sleeping pills, but the investigation showed that although he had seen a counselor the day before his death, he was not recommended for further assessments of the mental health of specialized services.
Connell said he wanted to go to a psychiatric treatment center called The Beacon in Ramsgate, where patients are closely monitored, but there was no room.
The couple went to the home of Mrs. Connell & # 39; s sister in Newcastle, Northern Ireland at the end of February, hoping that a change of scenery would help.
Mrs. Connell said: & We thought it would be good to come back here and relax and have some quiet time with my family.
& # 39; It was the first time my sister and her husband had seen him in a long time, and they couldn't believe the change in him.
& # 39; It was like a completely different person, Paul was really anxious.
& # 39; His whole attitude had a very nervous energy, an uncomfortable look. His eyes were rather glassy. & # 39;
He had to leave early because a consulting room had been created.
The couple continued to talk on the phone every day, while Mr. Connell took his medication, saw his therapist, and spent time with his parents.
However, a month later he took his own life after making 21 attempts to call his doctor, but his calls could not connect.
DS Paul Deslandes investigated the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Connell and told the investigation that two dog runners thought that Connell was facing down on the 50ft beach.
Members of the audience tried to revitter him for 15 minutes before paramedics arrived and took CPR, but he died 25 minutes later.
The investigation at the Coroner & # 39; s Court of Canterbury ruled that Mr. Connell, pictured with his wife in India, led his own life
The coroner James Dillon decided that Mr. Connell had taken his own life.
Mrs. Connell said: & I think the most important thing is to listen to someone who starts talking about it.
& # 39; And listen to what they ask, because they know what they can handle themselves. & # 39;
Helen Greatorex, chief executive of the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, said: “We were so sad to hear of the tragedy of Paul & # 39; s death.
& # 39; Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences lie with his family and those who loved him.
& # 39; We started, as everyone would expect, with a detailed overview of what happened in the run-up to the tragedy and we do this in collaboration with other agencies that knew Paul.
& # 39; We will ensure that Paul's family in particular is able to record questions they would like answers to.
& # 39; We will share the final report with both Her Majesty & # 39; s Coroner and Paul & # 39; s family. & # 39;
- For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritan branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.
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