Cornwall’s Andy Kent of Perranporth is a fifty-year-old RAF veteran who recently spoke out about his battle with depression, drugs, and alcohol addiction. He has been sober now for five years and has recently completed a degree in psychology. It has not been easy, but it was a necessary battle. He is now helping other veterans adjust to life after the forces and helps those who face the same challenges as he does.

How Did His Addiction Issues Come About?

Andy sets the scene by explaining, “I found the institution of the forces environment perfect for me; however, when I left, I was looking for how to replace that camaraderie and sense of belonging. There was a massive drinking culture (work hard, play hard) in the forces and really strong friendships. We travelled the world together and always helped each other out. You think the behaviour in the forces is okay, but it’s not something you can replicate in civvy street. I tried to when I left the RAF and ended up with a group of friends who were heavily into the rave scene. We were drinking, taking pills and then everyone is your friend.”

Unfortunately, the drinking masked a mental health issue. He went on to become the MD of a hydraulics company and had the nice car and house to go with it. But, eventually, his marriage broke up and he found himself living in a caravan. He finally realised that he needed help when he arranged a Christmas party and nobody turned up. Andy felt estranged from his family and was convinced that they didn’t care. He felt completely alone.

He says, “When your face is in the mud, only you can do something about it. So I picked up the phone and called Addaction. There began a long journey. I didn’t want to be the way I had become. I would’ve stood on one leg naked in the middle of the town square singing the national anthem if they had told me to if it meant I could change.”

What Do I Do To Get Help?

Andy called Addaction and got support for his problem and was eventually diagnosed with depression. If you are in a situation like Andy’s, Liberty House Clinic has a 24/7 careline staffed by trained and experienced counsellors to advise and guide you when you phone. We can also arrange for admission to our rehab clinic.

The most important thing to note from Andy’s story, though, is that he wanted to change. If you don’t want to change then nobody can help you. As long as you don’t see the problem with your behaviour, you will be unwilling to change this and no amount of therapy and treatment will help you.

Once Andy was diagnosed with, and treated for, depression, things started going better for him. He says, “Changing my life has changed my depression. I moved away from the festival crowd, regained old friends, got a flat and started a new job to start clearing my debts. There’s nothing better than an old friend who hasn’t spoken to you in a long time slapping you on the back with pride at your recovery.”

What Are My Options?

When you decide to get help for your alcohol addiction, we will advise and guide you through the process from beginning to end. Your first step is detox, and it is very important that this is done under medical professional supervision. We can arrange for you to be admitted immediately, and you will be assigned a medical professional who will oversee your withdrawal and detox process. The withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe, so it is vital that it is done safely. After the detox process, you will start the treatment programme, which will include individual therapy as well as group therapy. We follow the 12-step process designed by Alcoholics Anonymous, which is very effective in helping you manage your sobriety. The group sessions will also help you learn from others who are (or were) in the same situation as you are now.

We make use of a variety of therapy methods, which could include art and music therapy, fitness and nutrition, family therapy and a number of other therapies. You will also attend individual counselling to teach you how to deal with the challenges of your life without the help of drugs or alcohol. On top of this, you will also learn new life skills and coping mechanisms with which to manage your sobriety.

The sooner you get help, the better, so give us a call today and start your recovery process. Our friendly staff is ready, willing, and able to answer any questions that you may have.


(PirateFM) Cornwall veteran reveals depression battle