John's Story

John is  53 years of age and currently living alone. Diagnosed with Schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder and Bipolar in his early 20’s. John  was very unwell and mentally unstable in his younger years. He had no insight into his illness and refused any treatment for this. John  held several jobs in factory work.  He was also a fully qualified meat boner. 

Due to his decline in mental illness, he was unable to sustain his working career. John  has not worked for the past 10 years. His mum and dad are his main supports they live nearby. He never had any children and stated any relationship he had he was unable to hold. John  explains he enjoys his own company and that he is never alone as he experiences different personalities. 

He has a young identity who comes out quiet often. When he is experiencing this, he tends to colour in and do things as a child would do. He likes this personality as the other adult ones can be angry and unkind. John  stated once upon a time he experienced auditory and visual hallucinations. 

He no longer experiences these types of paranoia as he has been complaint with his treatment regime and has insight into his illness. Treatment consists of antipsychotic medication delivered via a fortnightly depot needle.

John stated he is now aware of the benefit of taking the medications as this helps to keep him stable enough to live his life as safe as possible. John  aware when he ceases his treatment, he does become very unwell. John  also suffers with chronic back pain due to a motor vehicle accident and memory loss post suffering a stroke. A year ago, he was hospitalised after noncompliance with his treatment regime. On discharge from hospital a NDIS package was granted. John  was reluctant as he had been isolating for the past 10 years in his home and finds it socially awkward to interact with others. 

John  was not eating appropriately and became very malnourished. There were also concerns he may not remain complaint with his medications and therefore be at risk to Mental state and safety. John  has a history of thoughts to harm self when unwell. A support service was organised with a provider to encourage the John  eat a balanced diet and ensure all GP and psychiatry appointments were attended to. Community participation and social interaction was also a huge concern due to long term isolation. That service provider was not positive for John . He found them difficult to engage, rude, disrespectful, demanding and he felt his privacy was invaded. John  felt he was no longer safe and secure in his own home with these strangers.  

Feeling unsafe brought on negative thoughts and John  decided to cease supports. John  was again isolating and not utilising his NDIS funding. The support co-ordinator worked hard with the John  to gain trust and was able to encourage that he contemplates trying a different provider. This was a hard decision to make due to the previous bad experience. They decided to call Karakan. I then attended a home visit and completed a intake assessment.

At this visit the John s mum and co-ordinator were also in attendance. Our Support Coordinator and Recovery Coach gave some insight into who we are at and the service in which we can provide. 

John  and the recovery coach were able to establish a good rapport quiet quickly. He felt connected immediately and agreed to sign up to Karakan and trial support. 

Karakan has been supporting the John  since May 2021. He has built a strong connection with both male workers on his team. The John  has voiced his support as being positive and that it has prevented isolation. The John ’s shifts are 3 times a week. The John  is supported to attend any Psychiatric and medical appointments, go out for lunch and coffee and attend to activities of enjoyment etc attending local parks and beaches. This has been small steps but a huge achievement for the John  as he has isolated from the community due to his Mental state. John  stated he still at times feels uncomfortable when staff are in the home, but he has worked through that feeling and allows staff entry each time they attend. He stated once upon a time no one was allowed to enter his home through fear and rejection. 

John  was worried that his staff may become scared when he dissociates and no longer want to support him. He has stated he has rarely dissociated when staff are on shift as his mind is distracted and kept busy. John  stated he values his support team that they encourage him but do not make him feel he has to do something he does not wish to. He plans to work with the staff to attempt one of his long-term goals and that is cooking in his kitchen. Cooking has never been a strong point and he has stated that he sometimes does not eat and consumes Sustagen or ensure drinks to keep up his energy. He has recently lost weight so learning to cook with assistance and eat a healthy balanced meal is important. John  is hoping with the support of his workers he will be able to take those small steps and get into the kitchen. John  expresses his experience of Karakan this far has been positive in nature and that staff are respectful of his choices and needs. He is hoping to continue with Karakan for as long as possible to maintain his independence at home and succeed in his ability to complete chores and other activities of daily living. He mentioned he is no longer left at home alone 24 hours a day 7 days a week living in his own head and thoughts and stated he now has something to look forward to each week knowing staff are arriving and planning what steps he may take with the assistance of staff. John  is very grateful for being referred to Karakan. 

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