SAS Star Jason Fox Would Have 'Probably' Killed Himself If He Hadn't Received Help With Mental Health

SAS: Who Dares Wins has just aired - we've watched the beginning of what will undoubtedly continue to be a gruelling period of time, both physically and mentally, for the selected men and women.

But if they were of the opinion that the professionals on the show know nothing about the torture they're going through, they'd be very much mistaken because the mental element is something instructor Jason 'Foxy' Fox knows about all too well.

In fact, he's even written a book on the subject.

He dabbled in everything the army threw at him, from combat swimming to dog handling, but the former Royal Marine Commando and Special Forces Sergeant reached breaking point and was diagnosed with 'PTSD and Chronic Burn-out' in 2012, which resulted in him leaving the forces.

Speaking to LADbible, Jason explained that if he hadn't received the help he needed - a situation which had already seen him leave a career he'd embarked upon at the age of 16 - he would have either been killed in action, doing something 'reckless', or he would have gone into a 'massive fit of depression' and killed himself.

He recalled that initially he couldn't come to terms with how he was feeling, saying: "I found it very difficult to admit that to myself. What I started to do was lie to myself about what was going on and put it down to other things that were going on in my life.

Jason revealed that he hit rock bottom when he left his 20 year career in the Army. Credit: Instagram/jason_carl_fox
Jason revealed that he hit rock bottom when he left his 20 year career in the Army. Credit: Instagram/jason_carl_fox

"When I think about it now, I'd get to a certain point and every now again - I would say something or do something and it would feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, and then it would come back again because I wasn't properly admitting what was going on. I pretended I was admitting but I wasn't."

It was only when he started to think about his mum and daughter that he realised there was something wrong.

"I never thought about relatives, I never thought about close family, friends, I was quite compartmentalised with things like that," he said.

"It was that that started to freak me out a little bit, to begin with - when I started to think about my mum or my daughter or whatever. I'd never done that in the past; I'd managed to box that off so when it did happen I was like, 'Woah, what the...'

"That was probably the start of realisation really.

Jason Fox now stars on Channel 4's SAS Who Dares Wins. Credit: Instagram/jason_carl_fox
Jason Fox now stars on Channel 4's SAS Who Dares Wins. Credit: Instagram/jason_carl_fox

"They're the two people that I actually didn't want to think about. I don't know why it was them - maybe because they are the ones I associate to my innocence.

"It was getting to the point where I had to do something, and it was like the last resort, but I never wanted to speak to anyone. I just wanted to push it under the carpet and crack on - the old stiff upper lip.

"But something went, I don't what it was, but I made the decision to go and speak to someone."

If Jason hadn't received help, he explained, things would most likely have gotten much worse.

"I would have probably stayed in my job and I'd have got sicker, mentally, because I'd have continued doing something without addressing it," he continued.

"I'd have either been completely reckless and died being away, just throwing caution to the wind because that's one thing I think I might have done, or I'd have gone into a massive fit of depression at some point and probably killed myself."

Jason revealed that even though he went through tough times during his 20-year service, from watching friends die to splitting up with his wife, it wasn't until he left the armed services that he really hit rock bottom.

He continued: "It wasn't until I left and lost my identity, that was the lowest point I remember. Leaving and everything else falling apart afterwards, that was the low point - that completely overshadows all the others.

"I left thinking that was the right thing. My last day in the military was 5 April 2012 and I woke up on 6 April 2012 and felt worse. I was thinking, 'I was supposed to wake up today feeling better.' That's what I got told and actually I felt 100 times worse.

"I wasn't ready to leave even though I sort of in the end succumbed to the fact I needed to take the medical discharge route. I felt short changed, I was a bit hard done by and a bit of a victim.

"I just didn't know where I fitted in in society. I had a purpose from the age of 16 to 36 - I was a soldier and that's what I trained to do. It's like doing a 20-year degree. I learned to do that really well. OK, I was slightly damaged by it, but I was still good at it.

"Then all of a sudden I was finished and I didn't know what to do - it's like being trained up in something and never being allowed to do it again. It's like, what do I do next?

When Jason left he would tell people it was a result of tinnitus. Credit: Instagram/jason_carl_fox
When Jason left he would tell people it was a result of tinnitus. Credit: Instagram/jason_carl_fox

"I didn't have a proper job and then I got a proper job, that I felt was what I was supposed to be doing. It was a project manager, I got a company car, sounds cool - it was a decent wage and I absolutely detested it but led this lie.

"I felt like I was failing at everything, I got kicked out of my job that I loved, got a job that I hated, I wasn't good at keeping a relationship sweet... I was just like, 'What's going on?' It was pretty grim."

When he left the forces, Jason would tell people that he had tinnitus - a phantom ringing or buzzing noise in the ears - because he was embarrassed to tell people the truth.

He said: "I was special forces, I was a senior team leader within a squadron of guys, there's not many of them. It's quite an alpha-male environment, you're expected to be tough and resilient, which you are.

Initially Jason didn't believe in mental health struggles, now he's written a book about his own. Credit: Instagram/jason_carl_fox
Initially Jason didn't believe in mental health struggles, now he's written a book about his own. Credit: Instagram/jason_carl_fox

"Also I was like a big non-believer in PTSD and mental health issues in soldiers because I'd hear stories of people suffering from experiencing combat. I'd done years prior to that and I was fine, so I'd be like 'what you going on about - I've been in some proper scrapes and I'm still alright.'

"Then fast-forward 12 months or so and I'm eating a big slice of humble pie and having to admit slowly to myself, so when it came to admitting to other people, I was embarrassed by it because I felt I'd like essentially failed at a job that I loved and put a lot of time and effort into it."

Despite the difficulties Jason has faced, he's never spoken to his mum and dad about them. He added: "I find it difficult talking to them - I'm glad I've written a book because they can read it.

"My mum has asked me for a book so I said I would send her one. She said, 'I'm not going to read it though.' I thought, 'Why the hell do you want a book?' But the reason she couldn't read that is probably the reason I couldn't talk to her."

Jason, pictured signing his book, said he started to feel better after visiting a therapist. Credit: Instagram/jason_carl_fox
Jason, pictured signing his book, said he started to feel better after visiting a therapist. Credit: Instagram/jason_carl_fox

Jason is now using his platform to educate and help other - he advises people to work out how you can broach the subject if you notice changes in someone else.

He said: "That might not be you talking to them, but talking to someone that's closer to them or someone that would be a better person for them to engage with.

"If it's you and you notice something, then the first thing you've got to do is sit down and be honest with yourself - because if you're not honest with yourself, subconsciously you're going to be lying and that's going to piss you off. That's what pissed me off.

"Even though you don't know it, that's what eats you up more inside, the fact that you're lying to yourself. You can lie to anyone you like but don't lie to yourself that's the worst thing to do."

From then on he says that you will begin to turn things towards a positive outcome and come to the realisation that you're about to set off on a 'mega cool journey', where you're going to find different people and you'll become more emotionally aware throughout the process. From this experience, you can only become a 'better person'.

What a LAD.

Jason now uses his platform to help, support and educate others. Credit: Instagram/jason_carl_fox
Jason now uses his platform to help, support and educate others. Credit: Instagram/jason_carl_fox

Foxy still manages to find humour in his story, despite the darkness. He told LADbible: "I've got two marriages that have gone down the pan - I like to attribute it to the military life but then I look at the common denominator which is me."

He laughed, before adding: "It's probably because I'm a nightmare to live with."

What's on the horizon then, we wonder? He's living life in the fucking moment, that's what.

"I don't worry about what's happened and I don't worry about what's coming. I think about what's coming, and I plan but I'm not governed and don't think something has to go a certain way because if it doesn't you'll freak out, now I'm like 'well that would be great if that happened, but if it doesn't happen we'll just roll with the punches'".

Could anyone be cooler? Nah, we don't think so either.

Featured Image Credit: LADbible

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd is a Journalist at LADbible. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class BA in Journalism. Becky previously worked as Chief Reporter at Cavendish Press, supplying news and feature stories to national newspapers and women's magazines.

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