A man who developed PTSD after he narrowly escaped being murdered with a sledgehammer has described it as “one of the most cruel mental health conditions”.
Some years ago, Pádraig Carroll missed his bus and made what he described as the “flawed decision” to walk home from town.
What should have been an ordinary experience turned into the most terrifying ordeal of his life.
“Halfway home or so, I encountered three people who ran at me from behind,” he told The Hard Shoulder.
“So, it was a completely random and unprovoked assault.
“It was more than an assault – they tried to murder me.
“What I mean by that is the ringleader of the group had been involved in numerous attempts to kill people beforehand and, sadly, within a couple of months of having attacked me, they achieved what they were setting out to do and they took another man’s life.”
Mr Carroll described the attack as “nothing short of barbaric” and can still recall the details to this day.
“They ran at me with a sledgehammer, a garden digging fork and I’m not sure what the third person had,” he said.
“They attacked me from behind and knocked me to the ground [and] I lost consciousness.”
By chance, a bus happened to be passing by and the driver stopped and frightened the attackers off – something Mr Carroll credits with saving his life.
“The Guards never came unfortunately,” he said.
“I don’t blame them, I’ve had a lot of venom for them over the years but I don’t blame them.
“They’re under-resourced, understaffed, under-trained, under water.”
The attack left a scar and a “big dent” on his head and afterwards Mr Carroll developed PTSD.
“It’s one of the most cruel mental health conditions you can have,” he said.
“You spend more or less every waking moment of every day, either in fear for your life or expecting to be murdered.
“[You] relive the attempt on your life… It has a very high mortality rate.”
Mr Carroll’s mental health continued to suffer and he was later diagnosed with depression.
“Eventually, it brought me to a point where I was suicidal,” he said.
“I made an attempt on my own life and I found myself in St James’ Hospital at the time, fully aware that I was literally at the end of my rope.”
After doing some research on the internet, he ordered some truffles from the Netherlands that were not available in Ireland.
“[I] took them and the very next day, my depression was gone,” he said.
Main image: Pádraig Carroll.