Lee Brookes, who is in his early 40s and works in IT, describes how running up debts of £32,000 led him to attempt to kill himself

  • Aggressive debt collectors raise risk of suicide – study

Since my mid-teens I’ve struggled with episodes of mania brought about by my bipolar disorder. Such mania led to intense periods of superfluous spending, which was indulgent, unnecessary and extravagant. From buying endless rounds at the pub for friends, to taking myself on a spontaneous solo getaway to Paris and spending over £1,700 in the process, my spending rapidly span out of control.

It was this battle with bipolar that brought about seeking my first loan from the bank in 2001. The unnecessary spending on trivial things led to my inability to cover the essentials – rent, grocery shopping and utility bills. As my spending went up, my credit rating plummeted. The banks stopped the loans and so I reached out to the payday loan sharks instead. From then onwards I was trapped in a vicious cycle of payday loans to pay off previous payday loans. My situation became so bleak and overwhelming that I attempted suicide three times, two of them as a direct response to my financial situation.

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