Anne-Marie thanks “amazing” therapy for turning life around
Anne-Marie Hargreaves from Mexborough said she “wouldn't be here today” without being referred to Doncaster’s Primary Care Network Mental Health Team, run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, four years ago after the breakdown.
The 36-year-old has Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder and suffered the breakdown as a result of an incurable bowel disease which meant she didn’t absorb her medications.
She started having mental health needs as an eight-year-old after suffering abuse, but says the support from her husband and RDaSH – in particular community psychiatric nurse Winny Smith – has helped her start to turn her life around and find a new career as a funeral arranger.
Anne-Marie said: “Over the years, I have been in and out of different therapies and different groups to try and understand my conditions better, and how I can best live alongside those.
“In one self-harm group it took weeks for me to share my details and after I did, I was asked not to return because my level of self-harm was significantly worse than other members of the group and the person taking the group didn’t want me to impact the rest of the people attending.
“To say I felt so alone is an understatement.
“On one occasion after slitting my wrists, I was very close to having a blood transfusion because I’d lost so much blood.
“Not long after that I voluntarily admitted myself onto the psychiatric ward.”
“My condition is very, very hard to deal with,” she said, “because I don't always understand what I'm feeling and I react and I'm quite fiery.
“So, I can go from nought to a hundred in less than a second. I don't always realise I'm doing it.”
Her therapy at RDaSH has helped her to look at the way she is, why she does things and to look at positives from her condition.
“We've looked at why I react because I am quite reactive and I’ve learned that instead of going straight in to a situation to take a step back and have a think before reacting,” said Anne-Marie.
“I have now learned that I can keep the ball in my court and it is very satisfying.
“Without Winny I don't think I would be in the position that I am in at the minute,” she said. “I was a mess when I first met her. I’d just had a massive breakdown, it was pretty spectacular,” adding: “Winny has been fantastic. She sat and listened to me. She didn't judge.
“And we worked together.
“We did a stress bucket exercise which helped me to realise what my stresses are.
“Part of my condition means I really struggle with change, especially if I don’t get to build myself up to the change.
“I’m very sensitive to stress so it can make me really poorly.
“What I would say though is that the world needs more Winnys!