Family plea for missing GP to return to Norfolk

Five months ago highly respected GP David Lidgey walked out of his family home leaving a note to say he had 'gone for a walk' and has not been seen since.

Now, with Christmas fast-approaching, his distressed wife is appealing for him to return to Norfolk and give their three children the present they want the most.

Shona Lidgey, 45, also a GP, said her husband had suffered from depression for many years but felt unable to seek help for his depression, despite her repeated requests, although he was able to assist his own depressed patients.

'There should be more awareness about men suffering from depression,' Mrs Lidgey, who lives in Hilgay, near Downham Market, told a national newspaper.

'I get women coming into the surgery saying that their husbands have depression, but that they are too proud or scared to come in. People need to talk about it, because it affects so many people over their lifetimes.'

Mrs Lidgey's husband of 18 years had driven their three children to school on June 29 but did not come home. He left his prized silver Volvo, wallet and mobile phone behind and the following morning Mrs Lidgey called the police.

There have been several reported sightings of Mr Lidgey, aged 51, in Leicester, which is the city where he studied medicine, but his whereabouts remains a mystery. He also has links to Weymouth and Portsmouth.

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Mrs Lidgey said her husband had never settled in Norfolk, where they had lived since 2008. An investigation into his computer showed he had not been in touch with anyone prior to his disappearance.

Mrs Lidgey continued: 'We felt awful when we found out. The children were scared he had killed himself so when we discovered he had been seen in Leicester we were very relieved.

'But they felt very annoyed he was around and had not contacted them, because why would you do that? We miss him very much and we just want him home.'

According to the Mental Health Foundation depression is more common in women than men. One in four women will require treatment for depression at some point in their lives compared to one in 10 men.

It is thought this is due to both social and biological factors and that fact men may have been under diagnosed because they present their GP with different symptoms.

Meanwhile, British men are three times as likely as British men to commit suicide. Suicide also remains the most common cause of death in men under 35.

Mental health charity MIND said that men manifest depression in different ways - for instance anger and violence - and are far less likely to admit there is a problem in the first place.

Mr Lidgey is described as white, 6ft 3in tall, and of slim build with brown/greying hair. When last seen, he was wearing brown leather boots, dark chino/jean-type trousers and an RAF fleece carrying the words 'Cotton Traders'.

Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police on 101.

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