‘My Recovery Journey’ looks at John’s* personal journey of recovery from mental illness at the Shrewsbury Court Independent Hospital.
On the 16th March 2017, John* attended the South East Coast recovery and outcomes group. The group involved past and present service users, as well as service providers. The theme of the group session was, ‘Providing better services for service users,’ where we looked at ‘collaborative risk assessment, peer workers in low secure services and the introduction to the adult secure service specification consultation.’
I found the group well worthwhile and gained a lot of insight, information and encouragement out of attending the groupJohn
John commented on the outcome of his attendance stating that, “I found the group well worthwhile and gained a lot of insight, information and encouragement out of attending the group. Being able to listen to ex-service users’ and peer mentor’s recovery journeys through the mental health system is a great encouragement, not only for me but for others too. Attending the group has had a positive impact on my recovery, as well as helping me gain insight into what I’d like to do once I am discharged.”
While reflecting on John’s personal experience with Mental illness and being in Shrewsbury Court Independent Hospital, he starts off with mentioning his past experiences with mental health institutions compared to his Shrewsbury Court Independent Hospital experience stating that, “I have felt extremely supported and encouraged in the Shrewsbury Court Independent Hospital structure and feel that I have come a long way since I was first admitted. I enjoy all that Shrewsbury Court Independent Hospital has to offer, from the psychology sessions, the occupational therapy outings, to simple things, such as having a laundry day.”
When exploring his journey of recovery and looking at what factors may have contributed to such a successful outcomes, John goes on to mention some key elements, such as stating, “I feel it is important to have a structure within the system. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Shrewsbury Court Independent Hospital structure of having different wards for the different stages/severity of mental health illnesses. As having this structure has helped me with my recovery process and has allowed me to be able move forward according to my own timing, with the appropriate encouragement and support from staff within each ward level.”
He states that, ‘’During one-to-one psychology sessions with Consultant Psychologist, I was able to jointly draw my ‘person level shared formulation’ and I was able to develop better understanding of my current difficulties and association with my past, role of parenting, attachment styles, family environment and my vulnerabilities, experiencing school bullying, poor lifestyle, exposure to stress, and use of illicit drugs and finally my deterioration in mental health.”
He has also mentioned that “I am using 5-P formulation for understating problems (Pre-dispositional, Precipitating, Perpetuating and Protective factors to relate with Problem/s), association of maladaptive thoughts with changes in feelings and my behaviour through ABC analysis and to understand my risk factors and to rectify by using positive coping strategies.”
When exploring his early warning relapse signs, John acknowledges that, “My self-care becomes poor, I start to act out frequently, have poor attention, poor tolerance to stress, isolate myself, have marked increase in my paranoia and grandiosity, as well as being over talkative and experience a flight of ideas and increased mood agitation.
“I start experiencing intense anxiety and distress; associated with my delusional beliefs and paranoid thoughts.”
During my Shrewsbury Court Independent Hospital experience, my family have been able to join me on my road to recovery.John
He states that he believes the key element in recovery is, “The person themselves and your willingness and faith to work towards getting better and your own personal goals.”
* Name has been changed in order to protect the patient’s identy.
Transcribed by: DR Rehman, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Maxine Caruth, Assistant Psychologist.