Christopher's Story

In the beginning

From a very early age I was having problems. At the age of 12 I was diagnosed with depression. As time went on things got worse for me and I isolated myself from the world, I didn’t leave the house, stopped seeing my friends and wasn’t able to work.

I started to become paranoid and delusional, thinking that people were 'trying to get me' and that everyone was talking about me. I started to get confused about who people were and thought that everyone working against me.

Then came the unhelpful coping strategies...

I started to drink and use drugs because I wanted to detach and feel nothing. But doing this definitely made things worse. I started to self harm because I wanted to create a worse pain than I was feeling inside.

Getting some help

I went to see a GP to talk about what was going on for me and they were really worried and referred me to Orygen.

I had an assessment and was assigned to a clinic and to a case manager to start to figure out what was happening for me. I got a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and panic disorder. I wasn’t so sure what borderline personality disorder was all about but I learned about it over time by reading and researching, and my case manager taught me about what it was. I felt so relieved to finally know what was happening and get a diagnosis that made sense to me.

I started taking medication and doing the group program and came along to all of my appointments with my case manager because I really, really wanted to get well.

It was trial and error with the medication but it played a huge part in me getting better, and it was a relief to have some of my symptoms go away, especially the panic attacks.

Things started looking up!

The group program really helped me, I was able to get out of the house and do something in a group where I wasn’t going to be judged and the other young people around me would understand what I was going through. I learned lots of things in the group program and it gave my self esteem and confidence a huge boost, and I had heaps of fun!

Towards the end of my time with Orygen I felt so different to when I first came. I felt like a different person. The delusions and paranoia and panic attacks had all gone away and I had learned so much about myself and worked really hard to use the skills I leaned with my case manager to take control over how I think and feel.

And now...

I have joined the Platform and Peer Support Teams at Orygen because I really want to help others. I feel really good about helping other young people to get the same benefits out of Orygen that I did, and to help them feel hopeful and positive about getting better.

I still see a psychiatrist to keep on top of my wellness and I now see all my old friends and have lots of great things going on in my life!