"My story to help other people as much as I can"

About: Highbury Hospital

(as the patient),

For years and years I felt down- could not put my finger on it- had flashbacks when in bed- did not know what they meant- did not want to know- I could not get a bus- had to go everywhere in taxis- I felt paranoid- when I went on holiday- I thought people were staring- went to the crisis team- they gave me sleeping tablets- they did not help- I tried to kill myself with paracetamol - moved to my parents house - then I went to Highbury hospital and begged them for a bed- I was in for 6weeks last year.

I realised the flashbacks was because I was raped- I was depressed- I had voices- no one believes me- they threaten me- I try and block the voices out- I like to go out- if I did not go out I would go mad- I go to bed with headphones on. In Highbury I was put on medication diagnosis. I asked to see a psychiatrist and they said I would have to wait until I left hospital- another patient in the hospital gave me a number of a psychiatrist and I saw them a number of times to try and understand the voices - I do not have a CPN and I had 6 sessions of CBT- it did not help-I have an appointment with a psychiatrist at Highbury next week. I do some volunteering in a charity shop to get my confidence back since November. I went to a volunteer fair last year organised by the social inclusion and wellbeing team and that is how I got my volunteering job. I now feel confident and stronger than I have ever done- I feel like a different person. I went to a rape crisis center for counselling- I had an assessment but I chose not to have the counselling because I have admitted to myself that it happened and I can move on- I am working as a volunteer peer support worker at the moment organized by Sangita at social inclusion and I enrolled in the recovery college in January for 3 terms- I love it- meeting different people with similar experiences. I try to keep myself busy as part of my journey to recovery- I do have bad days if I stay in the house. I want to share my story to help other people as much as I can.

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Response from Alison Harrison, Acting Service Manager AMH City, Redwood 2, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for sharing your experience it is inspiring. Helping and supporting others is obviously empowering you. Volunteers are valuable on the wards as they have time to sit and be with patients, their in put on wards and in other areas of the Trust is very important and valued. I am glad you have found this a helpful experience and you message is one that inspires hope for others.

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