A JUNIOR doctor suffering from depression took her own life with a lethal mix of prescription drugs.

Sophie Spooner, of Marine Parade in Brighton, struggled mentally in the six months leading up to her death.

The 26-year-old’s lifeless body was discovered by her sister Rosie at her Northumberland Court home on October 24 last year.

Dr Spooner, who worked at Worthing Hospital at the time of her death and previously the Royal Sussex County in Brighton, had been prescribed citalopram, an antidepressant, and lamotrigine.

Both drugs, along with ibuprofen, were found in her system, along with an amount of alcohol above the drink-drive limit.

The inquest into her death at Brighton and Hove Coroner’s Court yesterday found Dr Spooner, although undiagnosed, was bipolar.

This was deemed to be a significant contributing factor in her death.

Dr Spooner came from a medical background – her mother Laurel is a recently retired GP, and her sister Rosie is also a doctor.

Dr Spooner, originally from Colchester, was working in paediatrics.

Rosie became concerned when she did not hear from her sister as they were meant to meet on October 23, the inquest heard.

This prompted her to go round to the house Dr Spooner shared with her fiance, Jonny Miller, the following morning, when she found her dead on the floor.

There were empty packets of the prescription pills on the lounge table.

Coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley said life as a junior doctor, which involves relocating relatively frequently, may have had an effect on Dr Spooner’s condition as it was hard mentally.

Speaking in court, Laurel said: “She kept up a very good front.”

Mrs Hamilton-Deeley concluded that Dr Spooner took her own life.

She said that on the balance of probabilities, Dr Spooner died on October 23.

The coroner said the medical cause of death was “due to the fatal toxicity of a combination of citalopram and lamotrigine”.

She added: “Putting everything together, I am going to record bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression as significant contributory factors.”

She then gave her condolences to Dr Spooner’s parents, Richard and Laurel.

“I think she must have been an extremely brave young woman and a very competent young woman,” she said.

Speaking after the inquest, Laurel and Richard paid tribute to their daughter.

They said: “She was very adventurous and very courageous.

“She was really renowned for her kindness and her love for the planet.”

Laurel also had words of advice for people with mental health issues.

She said: “If you have a significant mental illness, you do need medication.

“Taking it regularly is how you will get better.

“Counselling is important when you are well. It will build up your recognition.”

She added that people with bipolar “can be taught from a very early age to keep a mood diary”.

“There are mood diaries that ask you set questions so you can keep a score for yourself,” she said.

Have you had suicidal thoughts? You can get help. Contact the Samaritans on 116 123. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Beautiful, radiant, with a luminous presence

SOPHIE Spooner’s fiance Jonny Miller paid a powerful, heartfelt tribute to his girlfriend of three years after she died.

He wrote a blog post dedicated to her, relaying some of his cherished moments with her, along with pictures of them together.

Here is an extract from Mr Miller’s blog post: “Sophie was a beautiful, radiant, bursting-at-the-seams-with-life human, with a mischievous grin and luminous presence which lit up any room.

“She instantly won over my friends and family with her witty ways and disarmingly charming Sophie Spooner mannerisms.”

“We shared an intense curiosity for the natural world.

“She was happiest either in wide open green spaces or immersed the sea.

“The first time she went diving, our instructor said that she was the only person he’d seen who  was so happy down there that she actually did underwater somersaults.

“Soph absolutely loved being around children.

“I think they reflected the sense of wonder and playfulness for the world which she felt so intensely.“

To view the full post, go to medium.com/@jonnym1ller.