I was doing uni, I was studying to be a
doctor. I had a very severe depression and I was psychotic. But ever since then maybe every 18 months to two years – even less sometimes – I’ve landed in hospital. You know my wish would be that I could still be a doctor. But I got to a point where I thought I was dangerous. So that’s a big loss for me. Three years ago I had an
admission where I had a psychotic depressive illness and when I got out of hospital I was a bit disorganized and having trouble with my memory. And what happened was that I lost the house that I was living in. I was renting and I got kicked out and I had nowhere to go. I can’t tell you how unsettling that was. It’s one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had. It’s
hard to do it on your own, you know. I’ve found it very difficult. Daniel was diagnosed with a genetic
disorder when he was five years old and he suffered medical problems
all of his life. But just after his 23rd birthday he had his first psychotic
episode and he’s been diagnosed with treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Daniel
has lost all of his skills with his personal care, his life living skills and
his driving confidence. Well it was very difficult for me. I’m a single mum and Daniel was in hospital for ten months. I was working full-time and I actually cut
back to part-time four months into his hospital stay because I just couldn’t cope, just so exhausted. Because you’re just so mentally drained. It’s interesting because I had a very severe illness at the end of last year. Because
I became very depressed my affairs were in a terrible state. So things like
electricity hadn’t been paid, this whole room was full of papers. You’re
always fragile when you come out of hospital but this time they did this kind of
intensive support funded by the NDIS which has made a huge difference in
terms of my steadying myself you know and getting things done. I’ve done things
like a budget because my budget was a little bit unrealistic before. We’ve done
a resume, I do my weekly shop with her. Just having the support of someone makes a huge, huge difference. But now that we have help through the NDIS it’s just taken a tremendous amount of pressure off me. A support worker comes in three days a week and we also have given Daniel
some chores to do around the house. Just simple things like emptying the
dishwasher, emptying the recycling, making his bed, wiping his toilet over and just helping him with cooking skills. And then he also has a young guy that comes in and takes him out for social interaction. So they go ten pin bowling, to the
movies, so you know he’s getting out in the community and having contact with
other people other than just myself. I believe that if we didn’t have the funding
from the NDIS that Daniel would probably be still sitting on the lounge
watching Jurassic Park. I think I’m much weller because of it.
I have to tell you that I have never ever felt so steady and so supported as
I have in this last year. Without the support I ended up homeless. That’s the
basic bottom line. I actually for the first time feel a little bit of hope, especially having the occupational therapists come in and do some work with Daniel. I really kind of feel we’re starting to make some leaps and bounds now and it’s really quite exciting. The NDIS has the possibility that people can actually get the individualised support they need to
do the things they want to do. Just because someone sits there like this
don’t you believe that they don’t have a dream for their life. They do. I would love a relationship, you know I would love to… you know what
I’d love to do, I’d like to do a PhD on peer work. That’s what I would
really love to do. I would just take little baby steps and you know getting a resume together, applying. Just little bits at a time.