My teen mental health torment drove me to the brink

My teen mental health torment drove me to the brink

That boy on the bridge grew up in a three bed semi in Acton, west London, where his mother, Cindy, still lives. Reeve admits the house bears scars of his teenage years, where he would kick doors and punch holes in the walls in fits of rage. “I had a temper,” he admits. “I still do.” 

He lived with his younger brother, James, and father Alan, a maths teacher who died of cancer in 2001. They made their peace in later life – it was his father who suggested he apply to be a newspaper post boy – but growing up Reeve admits family life was difficult. 

“I was definitely a part of it. My dad wouldn’t beat us, but there would be lashing out. I remember the screaming and total failure of communication to calmly say, ‘we’re a family, this is wrong, let’s work out how to fix it’.”

Reeve paints a picture of himself as a tearaway, ‘bunking and thieving’ with his mates on the grey streets of Acton. There is no exact moment when he began to realise he was suffering from serious mental health issues. But, he says, it doesn’t take much to tip typical teenage anxiety into something far darker. He started attending weekly counselling sessions in his early teens. “On that basis alone, I know it must have been bad,” he says. “It didn’t resolve things but kept wolves from doors. It kept me alive.”

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