A retired police officer who was arrested by her own colleagues after having a mental health crisis has penned a book about her experience.

Becky House, who worked for Lancashire Constabulary, was sectioned under the mental health act just six years into her service.

She has now written a novel, Police to Paranoia, talking about her experience being sectioned and how she came back from it.

Becky said: “It has really helped me by writing it all down and putting it into a book.

“There is still a lot of stigma around mental health and I wanted to put it out there that you can get better no matter how low or how bad you get because I never thought I was going to survive it.

“People see anybody in an emergency service uniform and think they have that on and can deal with things but we are only human at the end of the day."

She added: “Things affect us like they do with everybody else. I think a lot of people bottle it up still because it used to be seen as a weakness.

“It is not anymore, people do talk a lot more and welfare has got a lot better over the years.

"The message I want to send is just to talk to people, don’t bottle it up, don’t get into a crisis by keeping things to yourself.”

Becky started her career on patrol, which included a stint in East Lancashire, attending murder scenes and tragic suicides before moving over to the Public Protection Unit where she would help vulnerable people.

Lancashire Telegraph: Becky during her time with Lancashire ConstabularyBecky during her time with Lancashire Constabulary (Image: Becky House)

Becky was also struggling in her own life following the death of her nan and breakdown of a relationship, which saw her fall into crisis.

She went to the doctor and was prescribed medication but it made her suicidal.

The doctor made a number of changes to her medication and the effects of this saw her mental health deteriorate further, with Becky ending up suffering a psychotic break.

Becky said: “I’d always been a happy person prior to it and I was on that many different drugs, weaning me off one, putting me on another, weaning me off that, putting me on a different one, it just sent my brain crashing.

“On that particular day, my brain completely crashed to the point where the crisis team were at my house and the police were called and colleagues from my division turned up.

Becky’s colleagues arrested her and she was taken to the closest police station where she was sectioned under the mental health act for 28 days.

During her time in the psychiatric unit, she was with other patients threatening her after discovering that she was a police officer.

She thought that her medication was making her worse so tried to hide her pills but when the staff found out, they pinned her down and poured water and the tablets down her throat – something Becky said was the worst experience during her time in the unit.

After 28 days, she was released and went to counselling where she was told that she was suffering with PTSD as a result of some of the tragic jobs she had been on early in her career, including murders and suicides.

Becky moved in with her parents but said she became worse and more paranoid than when she was in hospital.

Lancashire Telegraph: Becky's book, Police to ParanoiaBecky's book, Police to Paranoia (Image: Becky House)

Becky added: “Normally when you come out of hospital you are better but if anything, I was probably worse.

“I was still suffering paranoia and the trauma I endured during that stay in the hospital had made me even worse.

“I went to my parents and they monitored me but I had a relapse, it wasn’t as bad but I knew I needed to do something about it.”

Becky referred herself back to a hospital for one week, an experience which she said was much better and she was finally able to start making improvements to her mental health.

After a few months, Becky managed to return to work but was moved to a different division so her mental health struggles were not known by her colleagues, except for the one who supported her return to work.

Becky said there were occasions when she would attend scenes which would trigger her mental health but said that the support from her senior colleagues was fantastic.

Becky added: “The job is what saved me I think – to get my career back. It gave me my identity back.

“It was hard at times, I had to go back into situations which were hard, at one point I had to go back into a psychiatric unit to deal with a patient in a similar situation that I was and I had a panic attack on the job.

“I suffered a lot of panic attacks at first when I went back but I had a lot of support from my line supervisor.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Becky retired from the police in November 2021Becky retired from the police in November 2021 (Image: Becky House)

She went on to work with the police for another 15 years, retiring in November 2021 on health grounds after being assaulted while on the job.

In the lead-up to her retirement, she was offered counselling sessions where she spoke about her experience 16 years before.

At the end of the sessions, her counsellor told Becky to write a book and after a year and a half, Police to Paranoia was ready.

Since its release in February, Becky has had glowing reviews, with some police officers coming to her and thanking her for how it has helped them with their mental health.

Becky said: “I have had people I don’t even know from different forces come to me and say the book will help them with their mental health and help them understand it a bit more.

“Some officers have contacted me saying they wish they had this book 20 years ago when they first started because they will deal with mental health better now going forward as they understand it.

“That’s all I wanted to do was educate people a bit more.”

Becky’s book, Police to Paranoia is available to buy on Amazon.

If you're struggling with your mental health or are in crisis, you can call Samaritans free of charge on 116 123 - they're available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.