Diane's story

I am a woman in my late twenties. I grew up within the comfort of my family home in Hounslow, London with my Mother, Father and 3 sisters. I have been diagnosed with a mild learning disabilityfor most of my life. When i was around 16, my family noticed changes in me, I was hearing strange things and behaving bizarrely, having outburts of anger and sometimes walking out of the house and going missing for days. I became quiet and would barely speak to anyone, not even my family, with whom I’m very close with. My behaviour quickly deteriorated and after quite a bad psychotic episode, I went into hospital from February to September 2005. This is when I was formally disgnosed with Paranoid Schizoprenia. I was allowed home leave and my family visited me often. I didn’t feel like i was progressing at hospital and didn’t feel safe. My medication had been changed a few times but it wasn’t really working for me. I felt scared and wasn’t hearing nice voices, as a result I became withdrawn, isolated and uncommunicative. My older sister, who I relied on a lot, left for university at around this time and I felt quite low.

Sadly, my mother also suffered from a mental illness and took her life in November 2006. This was quite hard for the Family. It was difficult for me to stay at home as someone needed to be in the house all the time, because on a few occasions, I had walked out the house and gone missing for days, to be brought back by the police.

Social Services placed me into a residential care home with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week support. There were 2 other residents. I enjoyed my time at this home but I required 2-1 escort in the community and 1-1 whilst I was in the house as I was a risk of walking out so I felt very suffocated. My behaviour went downhill again and I wanted to go and live at home again, which I did in around October 2011.Towards the end of my placement I was diagnosed with having ‘Treatment-Resistant’ Schizophrenia and put onto Clozapine.

In November 2011, I had a transitional living period into Care Assist, the Park Drive house which is all females. I was looking forward to moving here permanently as it was a nice house and there was opportunities for myself to develop as an individual. I moved into room 5 on 12.12.2012, and share the house with a great bunch of people who appreciate my company and whom I like socialising with. I have lived here for just over a year now and have noticed a difference in my outlook on life. Staff are very friendly and supportive and I appreciate their input into my recovery.