Pros and Cons of leaving Caswell Clinic
Cons of living in the community after leaving Hospital:
- A lot more pressure and stress. Even though it can be stressful in hospital it is a different kind of stress. If you don't have a friend visiting at your place there is no one around to talk to.–this is quite scary. In hospital whether it's when you wake or come in from shopping there is always someone there.
- Making sure you manage your money well and that you have enough saved to cover your household bills. Getting used to having to do all your own cleaning in the house/flat as the staff in the hospital normally do this. All one is used to doing is clean a small bedroom.
- Keeping an eye on the company you keep as it is too easy to fall in with the wrong crowd. Having to put up with all the idiots who live in the community that love being awkward and starting trouble.
Pros of living in the community after leaving hospital:
- Being able to come and go without having to ask permission and wait for a clothing descriptions etc.
- No restrictions on what possession you have for example; razors, needles for sewing, mobile phone. Not being watched at night by someone peeping through the door as I have my privacy back.
- Feelings you are an average member of society, not having to catch a bus outside a psychiatric hospital. My main awkwardness having this routine when I was a patient was due to the stigma attached to people with mental health problems, which was fuelled by the media
- The ability to undertake activities without worrying about the time, for example, visit a zoo and be able to take your time because you have not got to be back on the ward before tea time.
- Being able to manage your household bills and have full control of your life. If you need someone to talk to or extra support you are able to telephone the clinic for extra support.
- If things are getting too much being able to come back to the clinic for a few days, weeks etc informally, thus not having to wait 6 months for a tribunal.
- Friends being able to stay the night after a night out etc. Not having 20 questions on where you've been and what you have done whilst you were shopping etc
- Being able to do activities after dark. The choice to watch television on your own and watch what you want or even just sit and relax on your own. Have a lazy day without being pestered. To be able to see your family whenever you want.
Many thanks to Tracey and Tony, ex-patients, for their input.