Service user S is currently detained under Section 37/41 and has a long past psychiatric history dating back to around the age of 20 years with several past admissions to high and medium secure hospitals. He has been diagnosed as suffering from a schizophrenic illness (Schizoaffective Disorder), Dissocial/Antisocial Personality Disorder, and Illicit Substance Misuse (abstinent in protected environment). He has a history of using illicit drugs from his teens with subsequent immersion in a drug using criminal lifestyle.
Apart from a brief period under a Conditional Discharge in 2012 he has been detained in various hospitals since the index offending in December 2008 because of serious challenging behaviours including violent assaults.
He was transferred to Chadwick Lodge in July 2014 in order to stabilise his presentation in medium security and identify a suitable less secure facility for him in due course.
He continued to present with ongoing features of his personality disorder and mental illness and associated serious challenging behaviours. His abusive behaviour to his peers culminated in several ward moves within the hospital for his own safety. He lapsed to Cannabis misuse in the summer of 2015; he continued to present with challenging behaviours including lapses to substance misuse with further deterioration in his presentation and alienation from peers.
At ward round review in March 2018, the team noted his cumulative progress and supported his step down to conditions of lower security. S was agreeable to consider step down within Chadwick lodge and was assessed and ultimately accepted for internal transfer to low secure in July 2018.
The following is S’s own account of his success:
My recovery at Chadwick Lodge, Milton Keynes
I could bore you with a catalogue of instances and stories but these would be no different from what you have already heard. Needless to say, I was going nowhere and it was clear that I would remain in hospital for many years to come.
After being at Chadwick Lodge and following on from long term seclusion, I was assessed for low security. Being accepted I moved and have been in low security for some six months, enjoying my first unescorted leaves. Starting a new medication that had negative effects at first, I eventually settled. This initially helped me gain more trust in the staff. Having more trust in the staff I started to let myself be treated, developing therapeutic relationships with Occupational Therapy, Psychology, and Nursing staff. I even started to see my RC in a new light.
As the treatment progressed and I settled more I started to reflect on past events in the community as well as in hospital. Making the distinct black and white correlation between stopping medication whilst in the community and the inevitable, coming back to hospital, I realised that something was wrong and I could no longer as an intelligent person keep justifying certain behaviours: abusing illicit substances, not taking prescribed medication, and violent outbursts whether physical or verbal. Realising this cycle led me to understand that I did need treatment and the staff were there to help and that I was not alone.
In conclusion: Understanding that others were experiencing symptoms similar to mine helped me to accept treatment which is pivotal in anyone’s recovery. I may sound patronising and contrite but if I can make it anyone can.