DAUGHTERS of a man who died earlier this year have told of his struggle with depression and urged people not to dismiss what could be signs of the condition in their loved ones.

Victoria and Caroline Murray are desperate for something positive to come out of their loss and want to do what they can to prevent other families going through the same ordeal, after their dad Paul was found in woodland not far from his home in Wroughton.

“We just want to raise awareness. We feel passionate about it and we want to help people,” Victoria told the Advertiser.

Father of three Paul, 53, is thought to have hanged himself on February 25, although an inquest is yet to be held.

But the women have told how even though he hid his depression well, there were sometimes signs that things were not all they seemed.

“Before the depression he was the bubbliest guy ever,” said Victoria.

Her sister added: “He was the life of the room. Even during his depression he was very good at acting.”

Neither woman knows how long Paul had suffered, but the extent of his condition revealed itself after he shot himself in the foot with his shotgun. He told people it was an accident and he’d been messing around. But then he confided to Victoria’s partner that he wished he’d blown his brains out.

Once the secret was out his daughters got him counselling and did everything they could to lift his mood. “He was willing to take all the help he could get.”

Shortly before then the engineering technician had lost a job he loved. It was the run up to Christmas and the blow had sent his spirits spiralling downwards.

His daughters believe the incident was probably a cry for help, but because he hid his pain well people didn’t pick it up.

“I think there were a lot of signs there,” said Caroline. “But they are not taken as seriously as they should be.”

About a month before his death he hit bottom and took an overdose. He was taken to hospital, treated and released after telling staff he wasn’t trying to kill himself.

“He was really scared he was going to lose his job and his licence if it got out that he had tried to take his life,” said Caroline. “He was scared that he would go into what he called the nut house, he worried about being sectioned.”

The family hoped his life was on the up again when he got a new job that he loved. Victoria recalled seeing his smiling face when he told her the interview had gone well. “He was making plans.”

It is not known exactly what happened the night before his body was found, but the women believe something tipped him over the edge.

Victoria only found out the worst when police arrived to take her to his home, saying only that there had been a serious incident. “When I got there and saw all the cars I knew.”

Now they are focussing on trying to prevent others suffering in the same way. “We want to get the message out there. We want something good to come out of this bad situation,” said Caroline.

It is early days and they don’t yet know how they can help. But they are urging people not to disregard signs of depression in others and to be aware that unkind comments can have a devastating effect on those battling the black dog.