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Old 21-12-2015, 01:51 PM   #1
secret squirrel
 
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The Cassel

I am being referred to the Cassel therapeutic community for inpatient treatment. It looks like a really amazing place. I feel grateful to have the opportunity. I was worried that MH services would give up on me as I have done MBT and DBT and although in some aspects, I have made progress, my selfharm is still severe and I really cannot carry on like this. The hopelessness and depression overwhelms me at times and I get suicidal and made a serious attempt a couple of months ago. I really want a better life for myself as I am unable to work or study and everything revolves around my mental health and self harm.

Has anyone been to the Cassel? I have looked at the info online. What worries me is that at 41 I might be older than everyone else. Also I am concerned at how I will cope in such an intense environment as I am used to living alone. Plus I will have to rehome my cat which is sad and a big sacrifice.

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Old 21-12-2015, 03:45 PM   #2
Ballerina123
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My best friend went there and it was the best thing she ever did.
She no longer fits the criteria for a diagnosis of a PD anymore and hasn't self harmed in 3 years.

Since knowing her I've seen error change into a new person as a result of the cassells


Good luck. I hope you get a place xx



The average,
well-adjusted adult
gets up at 7.30am feeling just plain terrible.


Call me Kate.

I have dyslexia so please excuse my poor spelling and sometimes poor understanding.


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Old 21-12-2015, 10:21 PM   #3
sherlock holmes
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I was referred to the cassel but never actually went. I went to the crisis recovery unit at the bethlem and it was a very similar programme to what they have at the cassel.

6 of us lived together in a large house (there was staff working there too, but only one or two nurses overnight) and we had group therapy throughout the day. Each day would start with a community meeting that everyone went to including all staff that were on. It would be a space to raise any issues that affected everyone and to be able to talk through out. Other groups we had were things like cooking (we'd plan a meal one week and budget for it, and the next we'd walk to sainsburys to buy the ingredients then walk back and cook it for everyone then eat), art therapy, creative writing, dance/movement therapy, weekend planning (we all went home at the weekends and so had to plan how to stay safe over the weekend and not engage in behaviours), swimming, DBT skills group. We also had individual therapy sessions. All meal times were regarded as groups too (and so no-one was supposed to leave without good reason and not eating or binging etc was regarded as self harm). Also every evening we had a group to sum up the day and discuss what had happened.

It was quite intense. The programme lasted 6 months. What I will say is that you need to be ready to make big changes if you go there. It will be incredibly tough at times. I was ambivalent about recovery when I went to the CRU and when I was there I started being in competition with the other residents and I wanted to be the most ill and self harm the worst. It hindered my recovery and I acted out and got sent home a few times. When my time there ended I was sad that I'd wasted so much of it. I made progress, but not as much as I could have done. Although as a result of being there I never self harmed badly enough to need A&E treatment again, and within 1 or 2 years I stopped self harming completely barring the odd slip up. Over the years thanks to that admission and another one where I did more DBT I recovered enough to not fit the criteria for BPD anymore. I went from not being able to study or work, needing to be inpatient because my self harming was bad and I was frequently suicidal to living independently, studying full time and working part time, discharged from the CMHT and not self harming any more.

Don't be concerned about your age. At the CRU I was by far the youngest as I was 18 when I was there. A few others were in their 20s-30s and some were 40-50. My advice is to keep talking- don't bottle anything up as it turns to resentment or other negative emotions. In such an environment it's inevitable you wont get on with someone or there will be an argument, and it's best to deal with it as it happens and sort it out rather than have to live in an unpleasant environment. It might be a bit of a culture shock at first living with other unwell people but you will settle down and start to cope with it.



Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different…

you once called your brain a hard drive, well say hello to the virus.


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Old 23-12-2015, 06:16 AM   #4
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I went to the cassel but years ago so it's changed a lot but I just wanted to say regarding age it was really diverse. I was the youngest when I first got there (16) and there patients on the adult unit in their late 40s. I know it's changed a hell of a lot since I've been there but it's a good place. I can't say it turned my life around as personally I think I was too young to comit to recovery but it taught me to communicate which has been extremely helpful in my current therapy, i guess in away it was succesful as it gave me tools to open up in therapy. There were people on my unit who now have been really successful and have totally turned their lives around. I'm glad you'll be getting a chance to focus on recovery.

I can relate to being scared about certain aspects of treatment but you'll be supported. I'm not dismissing your worries. I'm in hospital at the moment and am going cygnet hospital for ip dbt and I'm scared too. There's only 6 patients on the ward at the one I'm going to and I'm scared of being an outcast but also socialising.

Anyways I wish you the best of luck. You deserve this chance.



sticks and stones may break your bones but words can tear your heart out.

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Old 24-12-2015, 11:35 AM   #5
secret squirrel
 
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Thanks so much for your replies.

Ballerina123 it's great to hear about your friend. I'm hoping that it will turn my life around too.

Night Circus thanks for describing your experience at CRU. I actually did go there 20 years ago but it was a new service and a bit too chaotic at times, although I made short-term changes. I think being older now is a positive thing as I have reached a point where I am totally fed up of having skin grafts every couple of months and constantly back and forth to the crisis house. I don't want this kind of life anymore. I am really determined to recover and was so grateful to be offered a referral as I thought I had reached the end of the line. It's inspiring to hear the progress you have made.

Cedrus thanks for telling me about your experience at the Cassel. I really hope dbt helps. I did a year's outpatient dbt, group and 121 and I still use the skills today to manage. The groups were nothing like as intense as traditional therapy groups as it was more focussed on learning and implementing skills. Good luck.

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