"I felt I could relate to people more than when I started"

About: Cassel House Inpatient and Outreach Services

(as the patient),

I was a voluntary at Cassell in patient back in 1987, I could have chosen out patient, but was recommended by my doctor to be an inpatient. I had no idea what it was all about and took me months before I realised what was happening there and what I had to do.. At the time I was one of only a few men there, the rest being female patients. I was lucky in one sense that my problems were not as severe or traumatic as other patients. The drawback however, was that they had deep emotional trauma caused by abuse for example, and consequently made them angry, unfortunately for me and other male patients, we were used as 'scapegoats' for their anger not realising that we could be angry also.

My problems were depression, anxiety and stress which is bad enough but in comparison probably not as severe. I did not have as much to work on as other female patients, but I stuck it out and discovered I had inner strength to do so as I could easily have left. I left after 10 months decided by the psychologists there. It is difficult to say whether it made me better but is certainly an experience that one cannot forget.

I realised that the only person to help me at the end of my treatment was myself, although I had minimal support from other patients and staff while at Cassell. One member of staff even suggested I start driving lessons!

When I left Cassell, I reflected on my stay for about a year after then I started to do more to help myself.

I started a motorcycle course which I passed, started Amateur dramatics, found a long term occupation, left home to be independent and then took driving lessons which I passed my test a further year later. It took a few years, but found myself a lot more confident, while the depression started to lift. I also found I could relate to people more than when I started at Cassell.

I hope this story will be of interest to you and that it helps others who maybe had similar experiences as myself. Thank you.

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