I became mentally ill at 21. I was admitted to a psychiatric ward in a general hospital. That didn’t go too well, I had a difficult few months after that. I had to return to my family home, where I went into a depression and developed a problem with alcohol. I was readmitted four months later, to a large mental hospital this time. I was heavily medicated on discharge and felt disempowered because of the medication I was on. I was able for nothing but to return to my family home again. My mother had a VHI policy at the time, which allowed me to be treated in another hospital. So, for some years I was in and out of psychiatric services and it was hard to work at all, even though I had qualifications, including a B.A Honours.
Eventually after 5 years of treatment I got work in a book shop, a good book shop and I was actually taken on part time permanently. Unfortunately, after 5 years of mental illness and very little going my way, the job was too much. I gave my notice and the rigmarole recommenced, in and out of hospital and in and out of the family home. A few years later I moved to London and experienced homelessness there. After about 10 years in London, I developed ill health on top of the psychiatric illness. It all became quite physical and resulting in a problem with my pancreas. I returned to Dublin as I knew I would get better medical attention with the help of my family. The hospital treated me well, they removed my gallbladder and I realised it was not just the alcohol that was making me sick.
Within a year of returning, I was fortunate enough to get inpatient treatment in a hospital here in Dublin. At the same time Dublin Simon offered me a room. Once in Dublin Simon I was linked in with counsellor and supported by the workers. The counselling helped quite a bit and I’m on the road to recovery now.