Patient Story – Kyle
Steps on the Path to Recovery
“Thoughts in my head got really excessive and they became voices of people I knew. I just wasn’t myself, I was feeling things and having hallucinations of things that I cared about…bad things happening that weren’t even reality,” said Kyle.
At 18 years old, Kyle was diagnosed with schizophrenia and psychosis – a mental disorder characterized by a disconnection from reality. One of the first incidents he remembers was hearing his name called when alone in his room, thinking it was his Uncle who was downstairs at the time. “I went down there and asked him what he wanted, but he said he didn’t call my name. I went back upstairs thinking that what had just happened was odd.”
As the days progressed Kyle felt his symptoms getting worse and his family members took note. “They just realized I had no emotion in my face, everything about me was falling apart,” Kyle continued, “It was just difficult for them to understand where I was coming from, so my Uncle came into my room one night and asked what was wrong.”
After speaking openly about what he was experiencing, Kyle was taken to CKHA’s Emergency Department (ED) to seek help. He was admitted to CKHA’s inpatient psychiatric unit after seeing the Psychiatric Assessment Nurse in the ED. He remembers his Uncle’s support and encouragement for what was about to happen, “He explained to me, ‘Well they’re going to admit you to the hospital and try to make you feel better and get you on medication.’”
Initially Kyle felt uncomfortable and scared. “It took me a couple days to get out of the bed that I was in and I just struggled with letting my feelings out.” With the encouragement of a nurse, Kyle eventually left his room to watch television in a common area. “I started with that and almost immediately I began talking with another patient. It just takes one person to say ‘hi’ and you begin to share your experiences. I even made a couple friends there at one point.”
Kyle spent two months in CKHA’s inpatient psychiatric unit. “It was a long period of time because obviously they want to do a proper diagnosis on you and make sure you’re stable enough to go back out.” A subsequent stay in the unit was needed later as he struggled to find his footing again. Individuals with serious mental illnesses often encounter challenges when trying to find the right medication. “It takes awhile to find that balance and to function each day,” Kyle added, “Dr. Chandrasena was always open ears for me to ask a question and he’d give me every detail possible that he’d know I’d want to hear to help me.”
The staff at CKHA and partner organization Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) helped Kyle initiate a treatment plan; he was supported through CKHA’s Today Not Tomorrow Early Youth Psychosis Intervention Program and the Mental Health and Addictions Program. “The team was always there for me and they laid it out for me. It was all up to me to make that call…to make that step…just when I was ready to do it was the big thing. It took me awhile but I finally did it,” Kyle said.
When beginning his transition back into the community, Kyle received follow-up services such as job search assistance. “For the support while in and out of the hospital, there’s always those options, you’re always going to have those people there for you when you’re ready and when you feel comfortable to express yourself and want to take those steps to get better and pursue your life the best way you can. Mental Health and Addictions will guide you in the right path.”
Kyle also credits his family as a major support from his diagnosis through to recovery. “It was very frustrating physically and emotionally for them and they’ve been with me through it step by step. I’m glad they were there to catch it early for me because I would have maybe been too far gone where I wouldn’t have been able to come out of it.” Kyle concluded, “I just want everybody to fight for what they want out of life. There’s always got to be that one thing you want to hang on to and focus on it, whether it’s that person in your life or that one thing you want to do, that dream…just hang on to it.”
If you or someone you know need to speak with a mental healthcare professional please contact CKHA’s Mental Health & Addictions Program at 519.351.6144.
For more information about CKHA’s Mental Health & Addictions Program please visit: www.ckha.on.ca/mentalhealth
To view Kyle in CKHA’s 2014/15 Annual Report please click here.
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