"Beating alcoholism at the Dennis Hill Unit"

About: South London And Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust / Addiction services

(as the patient),

After being raped in my twenties, I hit the bottle like it was going out of fashion, and in 2010 I was beginning to fear for my life as not only was I addicted but I was feeling the bad effects of the drink. I looked eighty when I was actually fifty-four, I had agoraphobia (which we actually withdrawal symptoms) and I had to have a drink before I'd venture out, and all in all I was a mess. I wasn't eating, my family were sick of me, my friends were sick of me, and I was sick of me!

I eventually got referred to the Dennis Hill Unit of the Bethlem Royal Hospital and it was the best thing I ever did. Two weeks later I left sober and have been now for a year. Their encouragement and care, the time they spend just talking with you, the things on offer to keep you occupied as well as the physical treatment, all conspired to make me a different person. So strong, that I gave up smoking too because thanks to the DHU I realised that I could do it, because whatever I wanted, I could achieve. I have my life back and I am so happy.

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