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Toughest para confesses battle with mental health

‘Ball of rage’: Maj Andrew Fox admits the war against the Taliban left him hooked on combat PICTURE: CRAIG HIBBERT

A BATTLE-HARDENED veteran of three Afghan tours has become the most senior officer to reveal his struggles with post-traumatic stress.

Maj Andrew Fox said he ‘destroyed a room at Army HQ’ after his time on the front line in Helmand province from 2007 to 2010 left him drained but still craving more action.

‘The war turned me into a bristling ball of hate and rage,’ he admitted.

‘If a day or night went by in Helmand without us smashing the Taliban, I would be furious. Bullets were whistling past my ears but I just wanted more of it.

‘I was hooked on the adrenaline rush but the fighting was draining my emotional reserves. I brought all that anger back to the UK after my last tour of duty and it was just a matter of time before I exploded.’

Maj Fox, a company commander in the Parachute Regiment, recovered after seeking help through the Army’s mental healthcare programmes.

Viewers of ITV’s The Paras: Men Of War last week saw him take part in a 2018 parachute jump exercise in Latvia, near Russia’s border, in a show of force amid tensions with Moscow.

The 39-year-old, from Truro in Cornwall, said he had gone public in response to concerns over an increase in suicides among serving troops.

He told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Hopefully, soldiers will think, “Well, if Maj Fox can be open about his PTSD then I should be too”, because every suicide is a tragedy.’