A PHOTOGRAPHER from Verwood says his love of nature and photography helped him to recover after having two breakdowns.

Trevor Parsons wants to raise awareness of the power of nature and photography for mental wellbeing to help others in a similar situation. The 51-year-old says he has had two breakdowns, the last one in 2013/14.

“It was pressure at work. I wasn’t eating or sleeping. It got to the stage where I just broke down in work one day,” admits Trevor. “I kept spiralling down in depression and anxiety.”

Trevor says his mental health deteriorated and he felt the only way he could “break the cycle” was to go into hospital.

He says when he got home he was “scared to go outside”. His doctor suggested spending time outside - setting a timer on his mobile phone for five minutes and taking pictures. He was gradually able to extend that time.

“When you go through a breakdown your worries constantly go around your head. You’ve got no off switch. But when you are in nature and when I’m taking a photo you are concentrating on one thing through the lens. It gives you a little bit of breathing space so it fades away.”

He has has spoken about his experiences on the radio.

“If you’re not into photography just go out for a walk,” he adds. “When you feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, you might get a few spots of rain, it makes you feel more alive.”

Trevor says he has always had an interest in photography, said: “I just love it. It is still my therapy now.”

“It was a reason to get my hiking boots on even if I was walking down Lower Bournemouth Gardens for five or ten minutes. Otherwise I would have stayed indoors all day,” he adds.

Trevor hopes his story will help others. “Hopefully it says to people I’ve been in your situation. The way I’ve thought of it is that you’re potholing, your in the dark and you don’t know which way your turning, trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel is such a long way. Keep plodding on you do get there. I’ve been there twice. This is what I’m like now, there is hope. You just hold on to hope that is all you can ever do. Don’t give up.”