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"Mental Health Journey"

About: Sligo General Hospital / Emergency department Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services / Sligo Adult Community Mental Health Services

(as the patient),

Late January to Early March 2022

~ Part One ~

I’m going to start by explaining how I ended up back in the mental health unit again which is my fifth admission. Firstly, I had an appointment at the outpatients clinic on the late January, where I was assessed by a lovely doctor who was more than helpful, concerned and supportive. By the next day I was admitted but before that I was brought into the emergency department in the general hospital, Sligo where I was again assessed by one of the members of the psych team. Later on that day I was brought into the mental health unit where I spent just over a month in there.

During my 5th admission, I have never struggled so much, ever. I found this admission incredibly difficult because I felt so disconnected from everybody but at the same time it was in the best interest of my safety, so I understood why I was there but it’s never easy being away from the people you love. Whilst I was there, they came to a discovery that the medication wasn’t working so a few weeks prior to discharge they started me on new meds. I’m now on an injection form of the tablets called Paliperidone and because my prolactin levels increased the last time I am now on a medication tablet form called Aripiprazole that should prevent the prolactin hormone levels increasing which interferes with the menstrual cycle alongside my antidepressant called Fluoxetine.

So far these medications have been fast acting for me and has stabilised my mood. I still have a long long way to go but when DBT opens up, I will be referred for it, which is a years long counselling program. It treats people with the same illness as me (Borderline Personality Disorder) or similar.

~ Part Two ~

During my fifth admission to the mental health unit, I was treated with so much care. I cannot fault them in any way whatsoever however I did encounter one member of staff that made me feel worse rather than actually talking me through my thoughts and feelings but we will all come across somebody like that at some stage in our lives but it’s important to recognise the fact that there are plenty of other people who are in the jobs they are in for the right reasons.

Whilst I was in hospital I had a massive breakdown where I landed myself in high observation where I was separate to the rest of the patients. It’s a room where you are in a hospital gown, no pyjamas, no phone, nothing. I was there for over a day and I could not wait to get out. When I was in there, I lost my mind and did not know what to do with myself so I started refusing medication, food etc in hopes that they would let me out but little did I know at the time that it would prolong my stay in high obs so eventually I told myself to listen to them and do the right thing and luckily the next morning the doctor came to see me and let me out on the terms that I would reach out to the staff immediately rather than acting on my thoughts, so I did and it worked wonderfully and I came to the discovery that talking does work and it can help.

I went through a stage where I was just so depressed that I could not stand the idea of being alive but as my medications started working effectively, I had a totally different mindset. Yes, I had my triggers that set me back but again expressing that to the nurses it helped me work through it all and eventually become settled again. Another thing they did to help calm me down if talking didn’t help was give me some PRN which is taking medication as and when needed called Quetiapine. This helped relax me and settle my thoughts down a little. I know medication isn’t always the answer but sometimes it is required.

Sometimes hospital can have a negative impact on somebody as you will be surrounded by people who suffering as well and in some cases you pick up on their habits which then reinforces you to act on those habits but there are positives too.

A huge thank you to all of the team,

For more on my story, please stay tuned.

Best wishes,

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Response from Noel Heraghty, Clinical Nurse Manager 3, Adult Mental Health Unit, Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Service nearly 2 years ago
Noel Heraghty
Clinical Nurse Manager 3, Adult Mental Health Unit,
Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Service

Nurse Manager in the Adult Mental Health Unit

Submitted on 24/07/2022 at 13:43
Published on Care Opinion on 29/07/2022 at 13:26

Dear puppisgs39,

I would like to thank you for sharing your story with us on Care Opinion regarding your journey in our Acute Services. You mention that although this admission was incredibly difficult you acknowledge that it was in your best interest for safety reasons. I agree that been away from family, friends and loved ones is difficult but this is sometimes necessary in the process of recovery and returning to good health.

Its good to hear that the staff helped you during your recovery and used various interventions along with medication. I wish you well for the future and will share this story with all the staff and pass on your thanks to them.

Noel Heraghty

Clinical Nurse Manager 3


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