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Thursday 18 September 2014

'We checked watches if she went to bathroom'

Published 21/06/2014 | 02:30

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Depression can affect anyone (picture posed)
Depression can affect anyone (picture posed)

Case study

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WHEN Tracey went to the bathroom at home, her family immediately checked their watches.

"If she wasn't back out of the bathroom in three or four minutes one of us would go over and knock on the door to check if she was okay," her sister Lorna explained. "We were living in constant fear of what she would do to herself. There were two occasions when she almost didn't make it because of the way in which she self-harmed."

Tracey had started self-harming when she was in her late teens. When she was 25 her mother died and loved ones, including Lorna, felt helpless to aid her as her life spiralled out of control.

Tracey went through psychiatric admissions and, at one stage, was so medicated that her family felt she was living her life in a total stupor.

But the medications didn't solve the underlying issues and she was referred by a psychiatric unit to the HSE's home crisis unit in 2008.

"Endeavour has changed not just Tracey's life but all our lives as well. She is now 31 years old, she is living an independent life and she has a bright future ahead.

"I lived on edge for years ... I always had my car keys ready and the car full of petrol in case I had to run to her aid.

"We have hope in our lives and I cannot speak highly enough about the programme," Lorna said. "I wanted to say 'thanks' so much that I went on a facilitator course so that I could help other families who are facing into the same thing."

Irish Independent

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