My name is Dylan, I am 59...
I have found the Choices course very beneficial and have set goals like deciding to go to B & Q and decorate my home which is good as I am now doing something.
I have had individual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) counselling and coming here to a group-based CBT course has helped that counselling make sense.
..here is my story
Meeting a group of people has alleviated my concerns in mixing with people as I suffer from negative self-esteem and relaxing is quite unusual for me.
The course has helped me look for work now and even to think about what job I can do that I will enjoy doing and that is because I am feeling more positive about myself.
In the past I have largely worked in the social services and care sector. I worked for around 20 years with adults in hospices and then went to work for Care in the Community as the hospices were shut down. I have also done employment outreach work with young people.
I worked in a care home for children also but it upset me a lot seeing the injustice that children are subjected to. It touches me because of my childhood. I also worked at Rose Road school with terminally ill children which was traumatic because the children used to die and it was too much for me.
I have a tendency to take things on board and I believe that in my desire to do good, that I ultimately paid for that in my own mental health. Working with the mentally ill can be quite demanding and I used to sit for hours on end whilst a schizophrenic is going over the same stuff. You don’t realise how badly it is affecting you.
I studied English literature at university Cambridge but became ill and had to leave. Since then, I have been on incapacity benefit with depression and alcoholism. Retrospectively I realise I have suffered with it from middle adolescence but it was concealed under other things. I started with glue sniffing, then went into alcohol. This course has given me coping skills which is what I need.
This course has been very helpful in looking at things in a cognitive way and I am finding it very useful and interesting. The facilitators are wonderful and have the right balance between facilitating and they also understand that for many people it is not as easy as you might think. Everyone has certain problems that make it difficult and some are better at concealing than others.
October 2016