Brother who “lit up the darkest rooms” took his own life after insomnia

David Marsden, 22, is said to “light up the darkest rooms” by his sister, but the young man tragically took his own life after struggling with insomnia, which began when a family holiday was cut short

David Marsden
22-year-old David Marsden was struggling with insomnia before his death

A young man who “lit up the darkest rooms” took his own life after falling into a “mental health spiral” during battles with insomnia.

David Marsden first caught the disease when a family vacation was cut short in 2019.

But after that, the 22-year-old slipped into a “vicious circle” in which he became increasingly concerned his normal life was slipping away as his insomnia took over This is reported by the Manchester Evening News.

The lab technician at Stepping Hill Hospital suffered from depression and anxiety and spent time in a psychiatric ward at the hospital where he worked.

However, on November 21, 2019, months after the family vacation was cut short, he was found dead at his family home in Stockport.

The young man took his own life after struggling with insomnia following a family vacation


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David’s sister Charlene Marsden spoke about her brother’s tragic death

His death triggered PTSD and insomnia in his older sister, Charlene Marsden, who has since opened up about his death.

David’s death changed the world of his sister, 33-year-old Charlene Marsden, and she said they were “like twins”.

She continued: “We shared the same interests, the gym, Game of Thrones, all kinds of things. We literally did everything together and watched all the shows and movies together. He was literally my best friend.

“He was loved by so many people. And it’s sad because my brother was the person that all of his friends, family and colleagues, including me, turned to for advice and help when we were feeling down.

The two siblings together at an arcade before David’s untimely death

“He knew exactly what to say. His smile would brighten up the darkest of rooms, but unfortunately when he found himself in a dark place, there was no way to get him out.

“I don’t think there’s a huge awareness of grief among siblings and what it does to you,” Charlene added.

She said: “You are the ones you think will be there when your parents die. They are your past, your present and your future so it is so tragic and upsetting when you lose them at such a young age.

“I think I’m going to deal with that for the rest of my life. I probably cry for him most days to be fair.

“There will always be something to remind you of this and you will suddenly burst into tears. But I guess you learn to live with it, as hard as that sounds. You carry it around with you and after a while it gets easier, but it’s always there.”

Charlene with her and David’s mother Fiona

Charlene struggled so much that she said she suffered from PTSD and her own insomnia.

She said: “It happened to me last year before the investigation. I can’t even put into words what it was like. But I totally understood what he must have been through.

“I had to take three months off work because my mother was afraid it might happen to me. I think it just had to do with the grief and mental health issues it had caused. I haven’t slept in three weeks. It was awful.

“As soon as you get up and haven’t slept all night, you’re afraid of the next night because you’re like, ‘Am I going to lie up all night again?’ Your appetite goes away completely and you get nauseous, you run out, you’re like a zombie.

David’s friends and family gathered on his 23rd birthday in 2019

“I had hypnotherapy, counseling and more. But I’m just pushing through because I feel like I owe it to my brother. Just to show him I can do it.

“Obviously it destroyed my brother and I’m not going to let it destroy me. I’ll prove to him that no matter how bad things get, you can get through it.”

Charlene and her and David’s mother, Fiona Marsden, have started a local support group for those bereaved by suicide.

They hold monthly meetings and have now decided that they will all climb Snowdon to raise funds for four charities close to their hearts.

David’s beloved niece, 13-year-old Chantae, is also attending and his cousin Adrian, a former Royal Marine, is acting as guide and support during the climb.

Mother Fiona is training to climb Snowdon

Charlene said: “We just want to raise awareness and raise as much as we can for these charities and I think funding is crucial at the moment as there has been a massive increase in demand and there just isn’t enough funding there.

“The climb will be challenging but also very symbolic as I am still climbing a mountain with my grief. But I really think it helps. That’s why it means so much to all of us.”

Charlene intends to scatter some of her brother’s ashes on the summit. “I know the view will be beautiful and he loved the outdoors,” she said.

“I am in awe of all members. I’m in my thirties but some of them are older and have health problems. But we just take it at the pace of the slowest climber and when we reach the summit we’ve done our bit for those who need our help most.

“With mental health first, I now go through life with this motto: ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind.’ A small act of kindness could save a life and that will drive us on this day.”

To donate to their cause, click here .

The Samaritans are available 24/7 should you wish to speak to us. You can contact them free of charge by calling 116 123 or by email or go to website to find your nearest branch. You are important.

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