Saturday: The First Visit to A&E

On Saturday, Adam was not feeling well and looked like he had not slept at all.  I suggested that we visit the doctor. As it was the weekend we were referred to the “walk in” doctor at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

The doctor on duty said she thought that Adam was suffering from a drug induced psychosis and had a very high heart rate. She told us to go straight to Accident & Emergency.

By the time we were seen by the doctor in A&E Adam was sullen and moody and kept making nasty remarks to the doctor who was trying to take his blood pressure. This doctor said that Adam should also see someone from the mental health team. I’m not sure if Adam understood.

He said, “Yeah whatever.”

After waiting in an airless, windowless room for an hour or so he was seen by a pyschiatrist from the hospital mental health team. After talking to Adam privately she agreed that it was drug induced pychosis, triggered by smoking cannabis.

She didn’t provide any medication but sent us home saying that she would refer Adam to the “Home Care” team who would ring on Monday.

We went home on Saturday afternoon more concerned than we had arrived.

The Early Warning Signs

On Friday, the day after we had returned from Paris, there was a knock on the door.

It was a security officer from the company that my son Adam had just quit his job. They said that Adam needed to return a work laptop. I told them I was shocked that they sent someone round after a few days of him leaving work. The officer said that as the company was a banking company there were strict rules.

I went upstairs to Adam’s room and asked him about the laptop. He looked confused and said, “What laptop?”

I told him that the security guy said Adam had brought his laptop home. Adam still looked confused but then gave me a plastic carrier bag containing a dismantled laptop and cables.

At that moment for some reason, I felt overwhelmed by sadness, almost tearful. Here was my son lost, like a child. However, I went downstairs and gave the bag to the security officer. I apologised for the state of the laptop and said if there were any repercussions they should ring me directly. The security office gave me a bemused look but left with the bag.

I asked Adam why he had dismantled the laptop. He said he didn’t remember and that work “was out to get him”.  He looked tired and confused so I didn’t press him any further.

I did start to worry that Adam was not well.

Back in Manchester

When we got back to Manchester on Thursday morning our son Adam was out. His brother Dani again described his brother’s erratic behaviour.

Adam had gone to work on Monday morning and when he came back in the evening he was agitated and saying that he could not trust his colleagues and that they were “backstabbers”. He told Dani to keep the blinds closed to because “you just can’t trust anyone”.

On Tuesday morning Adam hadn’t gone to work and came out of his room late in the afternoon looking tired as if he had not slept.  He threw out some of his belongings into the bin. He said he didn’t need them, anymore. They included books, clothes and electrical items.  He also said that he had emailed his boss and told him he wasn’t coming to work anymore.

Dani didn’t see much of Adam again until Wednesday afternoon. Adam had stayed in his room and hadn’t eaten anything either. By Wednesday evening he had been worried enough to ring us in Paris.

When we eventually saw Adam on Thursday evening, his first words to his mum and me were “What are you guys doing back home?.”

“We were worried about you,” said my wife Yasmin.

Adam then proceeded to talk very quickly and excitedly about how we didn’t need to worry about him. How his life was taking a new direction. He was going to be a business man, an entrepreneur. He wanted to help his family. He was sick of work. He was going to change his life. He was was hyperactive and kept talking for at least an hour.

My wife and I knew something was going because this was Adam’s usual behaviour. He was usually a lot quieter. However, he kept telling us not to worry about him, that we should worry about our younger son Dani.

We were a little worried about all the random thoughts and the fact that he had quit his job, but in the end, we agreed it was his life and he should do what was best for him.



“You Have to Come Home”

I was working and living in Paris at the time. I’ve always wanted to work abroad and early in 2017 I had the opportunity. My wife, Yasmin, and I were staying in Paris while the boys where looking after the house in Manchester.

It was a Wednesday evening, May 2017, when my wife got a call from our son Dani, a call that essentially changed our lives.

“You have to come home,” he said. He told his mum that his brother Adam had quit his job and was saying “strange” things.

My wife started panicking and called me over. We listened as Dani described what had happened.

Adam was paranoid people at work hated him. He said he wanted to quit his job and be an entrepeneur. He said he did not like certain colours. He was not sleeping.

As soon as we put the phone down my wife and I were both tearful. We both agreed we needed to go home. It was 10.30pm. Thanks to the Internet I booked flights home for the following mornning. We packed some essentials and went to bed, though neither of us really slept well.

By 9.30am the next morning we were at the airport waiting for our flight to Manchester. We didn’t know then that we would not return to Paris.