Family of man who stabbed himself in the neck and chest say smoking cannabis in Amsterdam triggered his mental health problems

Family of man who stabbed himself in the neck and chest say smoking cannabis in Amsterdam triggered his mental health problems

The family of one rock climbing expert has claimed that he stabbed himself to death after suffering from a severe form of mental illness which is said to have been triggered after he smoked marijuana on a trip to Amsterdam. 26-year-old Liam Postlethwaite did not have any health problems but is claimed to have changed after he went on a trip with his friends to the Dutch capital in 2011. An inquest held in Preston heard that the young rock climber returned to the UK with major cases of paranoia and once even became so sick that he forgot his own name and had to be kept in a mental hospital. 

Then, on January 18 of this year, Postlethwaie had been staying with his parents at their home in Chorley, Lancashire, when his mother found him dying in the back garden with self-inflicted stab wounds to the neck and chest. He died in a hospital a few days later, reported the Daily Mail.


Julie Postlethwaite spoke about her son and said that he suffered from paranoia and episodes of psychosis after he went to Amsterdam in 2011. She said: "By 2015, he was better. He was working and dealing with things better, so he stopped his medication. He kept himself fit, and in May 2017 he began working and living in Sheffield. Then, in December last year, he returned home and was low, so we tried to keep him busy."

During the Christmas holiday season last year, the rock climber started feeling low again and had been taken to the hospital one more time where he was prescribed more medication. He had been taken to the A&E in the local hospital on January 6 and 10 because he had started having episodes of paranoia once more. Julie said: "On January 18, I got him to hoover to keep him busy but, after five minutes, I heard the hoover but it wasn't moving, so I went upstairs and couldn't find Liam. I then went outside and that was when I found him."


Dr. Neeru Garg, Postlethwaite's GP, told the publication that a number of anti-depressants and anti-psychotic drugs had been prescribed to his patient after September 2011 but many of them had been discontinued by the summer of 2015. He said: "I understand that he suffered several episodes of anxiety and depression since then, and he started back on the Mirtazapine."

"When he came to see me in December, I was aware that he had quite a detailed medical health history. I concluded that he had mild to moderate depression on that day and I continued him on Mirtazapine. I thought that he was managing his mental health problems well and I thought he would come the next day, which he did. In this time, he was paranoid, but he expressed no suicidal thoughts at all."


Dr. Glenn Clifton, a mental health expert, saw the rock climber only days before he made the tragic decision to take his own life. He said that the levels of anxiety seemed to somehow have a connection to his previous experiences in 2011 and that he started having suicidal thoughts. Dr. Clifton said: "On January 12, I went outside to the car because he was fearful of coming in and I told him that there was no intention of keeping him. He came in, but he was completely gripped with anxiety."

Postlethwaite seemed to be imrpoving after being put on daily visits by the last appointment he had with Dr. Clifton but just 15 minutes into the session, he started to have another panic attack. Dr. Clifton said: "There was some paranoia indicated from Liam's manner, he was worried of us bringing him into hospital. It was also due to his lack of self-worth; he felt he was a failure and worthless. But the fears of being hospitalised were the most prevalent ones causing his anxiety."


James Newman, the coroner, is reported to have recorded the verdict at the inquest as suicide.

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see for details.

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