I began my career as an electrical engineer and joined the IEE as a student 35 years ago. As my career progressed, work pressures and life events mounted up and I began to suffer from depression. Eventually it affected me so badly I could no longer work.
I was forced to cancel my IET membership, but thankfully the IET referred me to Foothold who kindly offered to fund my subscription for the next year. They also helped me apply for benefits to keep things ticking over. With my immediate crisis behind me, I started living a relatively normal life again. There were still some struggles, but I was able to cope.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic struck, and my life changed overnight. Nothing could have prepared me for the impact that lockdown would have on my health.
One night in September 2020, I reached breaking point. I had a huge panic attack, and started harming myself. I still struggle to understand what happened that night. I was admitted to a mental health unit for a month before finally returning home in October. I spent 9 months hiding away from the world, feeling unable to engage with anyone.