Annabelle, Age 19, Toronto – Canada
Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder & PTSD (Trauma)
Anabelle found The Wave herself. Mum and Dad were impressed that Annabelle had searched the world over to find somewhere that she thought would be the right place for her.
By age 19, Annabelle had been admitted to several psychiatric units and had visited the Emergency Department on many occasions. Annabelle had experienced a difficult few years with several suicide attempts, self-harm, purging to blackout and broken relationships.
She remembers that she liked the look of The Wave because of the fun GAP year activities in Malaysia. It made her smile to think of being outdoors and able to have fun again.
‘I found them and emailed (The Wave) myself. I felt so exhausted with my life. I was not getting better. In fact, that year I think everything was getting worse. I was bingeing and purging most days, usually until I had goosebumps on my body. I would have ringing in my ears and blackouts. If I’m honest, that’s all that stopped me. I knew the map of my city by the best bathrooms to purge in. Things were getting pretty bad and I decided to end my life.’
With unstable moods, dissociation, periods of memory lapse and high-risk behaviours, Annabelle needed long-term support in a residential setting.
Annabelle was very unwell when she arrived and received one-to-one care, together with intensive medical support from the ED Specialist Nursing Team at The Wave. She recalls that the connection she found with her peers was one of the biggest steps that she made in her recovery journey.
‘Finding friends and the fact that someone is always there for you is what makes The Wave such a special place. This is the place where I began to feel like I could really be me, I found the courage to have friends and not hide. I also learnt to speak out.’
Dr Rasyid was able to look closely at the medication that Annabelle arrived with and gently replace them with medications that allowed Annabelle to work on her trauma therapy whilst not experiencing any of the instability that she had previously experienced.
Trauma therapy is a slow and gentle process. Annabelle benefitted from EMDR, DBT and safety and connection. She moved from the main program to Transitions House (Secondary Care), where she continued to increase her independent living skills.
Annabelle returned home with two offers, vocational and academic, and is pursuing her love for Art and Design.
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