Commander Grant Edwards, a high-ranking Australian law enforcement officer and former strongman competitor at the World’s Strongest Man competition, has revealed that at one point, he tried to take his own life because he felt mentally weak.
Speaking to an Alan Jones on the World Mental Health Day, Edwards talked up about his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
Edwards was recognized as one of the strongest men in Australia who single-handedly pulled trains and planes weighing more than 200 US tons. However, his service in Afghanistan had left him to suffer from mental health issues.
He told Jones that he ignored a PTSD diagnosis for approximately two years. He said, “I, like many others, was very concerned with the stigma. People knew me as the strong guy. I was defined by that.”
“I couldn’t understand why I had these things going on that I couldn’t fix, so I denied it and I spiraled,” added Edwards.
Edwards explained that he was so drained physically and mentally that he tried to take his own life. Eventually, he went on to seek help.
“I got to the stage where I was physically and mentally completely exhausted,” said the 49-year-old. “I sat under a tree and, probably for the first time or second time in my life, I cried. I said, ‘I can’t keep doing this. There is something wrong.’”
Edwards shared his part of the story to help people who suffer from mental illness and advised them to seek help. He told Jones, “No one could be a better ambassador than Grant Edwards.”
To commemorate World Mental Health Day, a giant inflatable elephant has been set up on Northern Beaches in Sydney, an initiative from “Surf Life Saving New South Wales and Wesley Hospital.” Edwards has urged people to go to the official website to know more about the initiative.