A BARBER jumped in front of a train after breaking up with his girlfriend of 10 years and getting hooked on anti-anxiety drugs he’d bought online.
Jake McGrath, 27, told his ex-girlfriend he had “ruined his life” and left a suicide note saying “I shouldn’t have gone on the internet”.
An inquest in Manchester heard Mr McGrath jumped in front of a rush hour passenger train on June 24 last year.
The 27-year-old had struggled with depression since 2010 and he was prescribed anti-depressants.
However he started buying medication he hadn’t been prescribed over the internet.
His ex-girlfriend Jessica Punt, who he started dating in 2008, said: “He was Googling everything. Any time he felt anything wrong with him he’d Google it – everything. I told him not to but he would.
“If he thought [a certain medication] was working then he would just keep getting it wherever it was from”.
She told the inquest Mr McGrath ended their relationship in May 2018 but they kept in touch and continued to see each other regularly.
Miss Punt said: “Friday June 15 was the last time I saw him. He came to the flat where we had both lived to watch a football match together.
“He told me he had felt he was having a panic attack. In fact it wasn’t a panic attack…he was just worked up saying he was addicting to something and the repercussions of that.
“He felt paranoid and felt lost. He became upset whilst we were watching the football. He explained he felt like he’d ruined his life.”
She said they spoke again the following week and had a “positive conversation” and he told her he was feeling better.
She added: “We were meant to be going to a festival at the end of July and we were discussing about would I go with someone else or would he go with someone else.
“But we decided we wanted to go with each other. He said he’d have to wait to see how he was feeling but we planned to go together.
“There was no cause for concern in that phone call. We had no further contact after that.”
BOUGHT DRUGS ONLINE
Mr McGrath’s GP, Dr Claudine Barsoum, told the hearing she first met the barber on May 9 last year when he told her he felt “acute anxiety”.
She told the inquest: “He was very anxious and upset that he’d ended a relationship with his girlfriend and was filled with regret.
“He felt he had ruined his life because he ended the relationship. He had a past history of anxiety and a history of being on antidepressants but he felt they hadn’t worked therefore he didn’t want to go back on them.”
She said she saw him again on May 14 where he again expressed regret at ending his relationship.
Dr Barsoum prescribed him anti-anxiety medication to help him sleep but he then admitted to buying drugs over the internet.
She said: “I found this very concerning because you don’t know what he’s taking, what the dosage is.
“He said he only realised that this was serious when the prescription I gave him didn’t scratch the surface. Then he disclosed that he had been obtaining drugs and taking substantial amounts from the internet.
“He thought the anxiety symptoms were due to initially taking the drugs and was now coming off them. He said he wasn’t using other drugs and wasn’t drinking. His overriding thought was that he’d become an addict.”
She said she saw him again on June 14 where he spoke about his anxiety, fears of becoming an addict and regret at ending his relationship.
Dr Barsoum added: “We booked in for another review two weeks later on June 27. I was very shocked to hear what happened. When I saw him I didn’t think he was suicidal.”
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Police found a handwritten note revealing he had been using Google to search for possible medical symptoms he thought he had and added: “I am sorry I had to do this. I just didn’t feel there was a way back from this. I shouldn’t have gone on the internet.”
Toxicology tests showed Mr McGrath, who died from multiple head injuries, had no traces of drugs in his system.
Recording a conclusion of suicide coroner, Nigel Meadows said: “People who kill themselves don’t always fully appreciate the impact it has on those left behind.”
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123, or visit Mind’s website.
YOU'RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
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