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Alex suffers from depression and severe social anxiety. He contacted Mind in Bradford 6 months ago as we hold a weekly Mindfulness group. His psychologist had recommended that he give it a try, as it often helps with difficult thoughts and feelings, and would be a useful follow-up to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Alex had been forced to give up the teaching course that he was undertaking, as his functioning ability was severely impaired. He had been skipping the course, hiding in toilets, and was unable to interact with his colleagues because the paranoia and anxiety became overwhelming.
He suffered a further decline in his mental health, and there were serious self- harm attempts, including consuming disinfectant and other types of poison. He had suicidal thoughts and felt hopeless, and had to be constantly supervised by his parents. There were numerous trips to A&E and constant visits to the GP. A social worker was also appointed, and he had numerous appointments with a clinical psychologist.
Once at Mind in Bradford, Alex joined in with the Mindfulness group, and participated in our weekly Depression group. He quickly made friends and enjoyed the interaction……
Being at Mind, I don’t feel judged. In my previous job, I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone what I was going through. The staff at Mind know we all have our issues, and that makes me feel more accepted. Mind gave me a sense of normality; I felt less abnormal, less of a freak. I realised that other people, intelligent people, have the same issues and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. The Mindfulness group was useful in learning strategies for moving forward.
Alex explained that the groups at Mind had reinforced the work he had undertaken with his psychologist, and he felt able to apply for, and be appointed to, a voluntary post as a support worker with a homeless charity…….
It gave me confidence to try new social and work situations. I started attending a swimming club, and became a voluntary Cub leader. Meeting the people at Mind helped me feel more comfortable and speeded up the process. It gave me an outlet for my emotions and thoughts, and I was heard and understood.
Six months on, Alex is still volunteering, and there is the possibility of paid work when he has gained enough experience. He has also enrolled as a steward for various events, including the Tour de France!
I am now in a much stronger mental position and about to regain a normal work situation.
Alison has suffered all her adult life with OCD, anxiety and bouts of depression. She works, but has had several absences due to her mental health, when she has felt overwhelmed, distressed and unable to cope. During this time at work, her OCD has become much worse, as she has had to struggle against ever-increasing pressures and workloads. She was put on a waiting list for CBT, but was told that the waiting time was approximately 18 months. Eventually Alison had a distressing incident at work, where she inflicted some harm to herself in the staff toilets, and, as she was approaching a breakdown, her GP signed her off sick. She joined Mind in Bradford and regularly attended our Recovery Support group, completed a WRAP, as well as trying out drama therapy and a Cook and Eat group…..
I can see my own worth outside of my paid job now. I see people, problems and situations in a different and much better way. I have the motivation to exercise and eat healthily, and it’s now a realistic possibility and not just a pipe-dream.
Alison was able to return to her job after a few months of continued support from Mind……
Mind helped me to look to the future and helped me get my confidence back. I can now cope much better in my work environment. I’ve sorted my head out. They have sustained me in what can be a difficult job.
Alison has also recently trained, and qualified, as a Peer Support Group Facilitator, funded by Mind, and is able to organise herself much more effectively….
I have been able to recover and to maintain it. I feel like me again.
Vicky joined Mind in Bradford in 2013, following a relationship breakdown, which had increased the severe depression she had been struggling with for 30 years. As a teenager, she had begun taking medication and had accessed a young persons’ counselling service, before developing an addiction to street drugs. Amphetamines enabled her to function “normally” and continue a working and social life, but after trying to wean herself off, she developed a problem with alcohol. This continued for the next 13 years, and she drank all day, every day, with enormous effect on her domestic life. She had frequent visits from the Crisis Team, lasting weeks at a time, and lost her driving license after being convicted of drink-driving.
5 years ago, she was rushed into hospital as she was unable to move, and it was clear that she was seriously ill. After an MRI scan and an explorative operation, she was diagnosed with pancreatitis and kidney failure and placed onto a life support machine. She was lucky to survive and was eventually discharged from hospital, but received no emotional help or support. She soon began drinking again, much to the dismay and disgust of her family; but this time was referred to The Piccadilly Project in Bradford for help with her alcoholism. The support workers there soon realised that Vicky had unresolved mental health issues, which underlined her addiction problems, and suggested that she should attend Mind in Bradford.
Vicky attended the Recovery Support Group, the Depression Support group and Mindfulness Group on a regular basis, and also completed a WRAP.
She attends the Drop-In on a regular basis to receive peer and staff support. Vicky has also recently completed an external REIKI 1&2 course, which she found extremely fulfilling and interesting. She has taken up meditation, dancing, exercise and healthy eating…
I don’t worry about stuff so much, anymore. A really big achievement for me is that I can now get in my car and go to interesting groups and places and I feel a lot more independent since coming to Mind. I know I can now get my teenage sons through college and my long term plan is to move abroad or to buy a boat and live on the canal!
Mind has built my confidence and helped me to improve my boundaries in personal relationships. I now have something to get out of bed for. My whole life is fuller and happier.
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