AN unemployed graduate was found dead at his home after suffering from depression for more than 20 years an inquest was told.

The alarm was raised after Alex Chapman, aged 35, failed to collect his six-year-old daughter from school on November 22 last year.

His estranged wife, Christine went to his flat in Atherton at about 5pm and saw him with a bag over his head.

Paramedics pronounced him dead when they arrived.

Police found typed and signed letters from Mr Chapman expressing his intention to take his life.

But Bolton deputy coroner Alan walsh recorded an open verdict because the cause of death had been unascertained following a post mortem examination.

Mr Chapman was a life sciences graduate but had not secured a job.

Bolton Cooner's Court heard that Mr Chapman suffered from ME and had battled with depression since the age of 14.

He had made several suicide attempts previously including one in June 2011 when he tried to poison himself.

Mrs Chapman said: "H said he didn't want to bother anybody any more with his anxiety and problems. He cared for his daughter every day but felt he should be doing more.

"He had good days and bad days. I think he got very good at hiding how he really was. I saw him on Tuesday morning. he seemed a bit out of sorts, but told me he was all right and to go to work."

Mr Chapman, who lived alone, was being helped by community psychiatric nurse Amanda Visard before his death.

He told her that his wife and daughter prevented him from feeling suicidal.

It is thought Mr Chapman may have poisoned himself, but chemicals may have evaporated before the post-mortem examination.

Mr Walsh said: "He was a very caring man who felt valueless and worthless without good cause.

"He was a very intelligent man. He could have been a doctor, I have no doubt. He was troubled by whatever was in his mind about his value.

I can't say I am satisfied he took his own life. I have to be sure."