After his military discharge, Ron felt as if he had no future, no pleasure and just wanted to disappear. “I certainly was not a good husband to my wife Grace, or a good father.”
Ron saw a Psychiatrist who provided him with little value or advice and left him searching for answers. It was in 2005 that Ron’s GP referred him to the Woodlands Ward as a DVA patient, which was located at a different hospital at that point, before being relocated to Toronto Private in 2013.
“My first experience at Toronto Private Hospital was as a day client in TTS (Toronto Therapy Service). At the time my mental health was stable due to ongoing day program attendance. I found the staff and facilitators very helpful, professional and compassionate.
“On my first admission to Woodlands Ward as an inpatient, I was feeling very low, but I did feel confident that the treatment I would receive would be first class. Throughout my stay I was really helped by the support I received. Not only from the doctors and nurses but also from the psychologists, occupational therapists, administration, cleaning and catering staff.
“After years of ongoing treatment, I am much better now. What I have learnt is that there is no magic pill that will make my depression and anxiety disappear. I have to take control, monitor my ups and downs, watch for early warning signs and take the appropriate action to counter these feelings. By doing this it is possible to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.
“I need to continue my weekly TTS groups for ongoing wellness. At the moment I live in Moree (north western NSW) and I travel 6 hours by train each Tuesday to attend my Wednesday group and return home via another 6 hour train ride on Thursday. I think it is extremely import to realise that our own participation in the treatment of our mental health is a priority.”
Ron has learnt many important lessons over the years which he outlines as:
- Be honest with the support staff as they cannot help you if you are not prepared to help yourself.
- Put into practice the lessons learnt whether from the day groups or ward groups.
- Never feel embarrassed as nobody is judging you.
Ron accepts that his journey has been a long one but a productive one. “I have come from the lowest point possible in 2005 to now living a very fruitful life. My days are filled with adventure, learning, travel and socialising. I am not saying every day is perfect but I can work through the tough days.
“I believe that without the support I have received from Toronto Private Hospital I would not be sitting here today. I can never thank Toronto Private Hospital and all its staff and support groups enough for the endless support I have received as a patient over the past 16 years.”
Thanks for sharing your story Ron, we are proud of your progress and look forward to continuing to help you over the coming years.