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Molly’s Journey at Heatherwood Court

Molly is a young woman with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD), Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a history of self-harm

Molly was living in Devon with her family when she began self-harming at 14 due to bullying and feelings of isolation. It was during this time that she was initially referred to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). She has a primary diagnosis of Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) and a childhood diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Molly struggled within the CAMHS system and was repeatedly referred to mental health units, which had a negative impact causing further deterioration in her mental health.

After turning 18, Molly was referred to Heatherwood Court Hospital, which proved to be a turning point. Our team have worked with her to create a tailored rehabilitation care plan. Within 2 years her ability to understand and manage her emotions and maintain her safety had improved significantly and she successfully transitioned to a supported community placement.

 

What did Molly and her commissioners want to achieve?

  • Build a therapeutic relationship with the team
  • Support Molly to engage in a multidisciplinary therapeutic programme and give her the tools to better control her emotions and impulsivity
  • Break her persistent cycle of self-harm and teach her how to maintain her safety
  • Safely transition from a locked rehabilitation unit to a supported community accommodation

 

What did we do to achieve these goals?

Molly consistently engaged in the psychological therapies offered. These comprised dialectal behaviour therapy (DBT), mindfulness, trauma psychoeducation and stabilisation, and relapse prevention. This greatly increased her insight and ability to recognise and monitor her emotions as well as teaching her practical self-soothe techniques to use when highly distressed and experiencing urges to self-harm.

Moreover, after in-depth discussions with clinicians, Molly was prescribed Clozapine. While she was initially wary of the side-effects, she began taking it in October 2021 and found it highly beneficial. As she said “I wasn’t sure about taking drugs to control my emotions, but the small dose of Clozapine I was prescribed was enough for me to break free of the cloud of negativity that surrounded me. I was able to take back enough ownership of my emotions that I was able to start taking an active part again in my rehabilitation.”

Thanks to Clozapine, Molly was able to start using the skills she had been taught in psychological sessions. Her level of risk reduced dramatically, and her motivation and confidence increased greatly. She took on a role of a patient representative and started spending a lot of time in the community and with her family. She felt like she could finally enjoy life and allowed herself to contemplate a positive future.

 

What were the outcomes for Molly?

Following a steady progression pathway, Molly was allocated a community placement and has moved to her own supported accommodation close to her family, something that seemed unthinkable a couple of years ago.

Molly is optimistic about the future and is planning to learn to drive before going back to college. She has set her sights on becoming a paramedic, a caring profession she feels best suits her personality.

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