In October, at the age of 38, I decided to see Dr Kumarie Moodliar for the first time because I felt the anti-depressants I was taking were not working well any more. Two months later, it became clear to me that the medication she prescribed was not hitting the right spot. I became restless, irritable and rageful. I also began to self-harm again.
I contacted Dr Moodliar and she recommend I check in to Palm Tree Clinic so that I could be observed and the correct medication could be prescribed/added.
It was a scary thought – admitting myself to such an institute comes with its own set of preconceived ideas and stigmas. But i knew I wasn’t well and needed help.
After a few days in the clinic, I made up my mind to remain for the full three-week programme. Almost immediately, I began to feel better – I realised I was in good hands and would get the care and support I needed.
The Occupational Therapy programme, run by the amazing Leticia, began to dredge up things from the past that I hadn’t thought about for years. Added to this, the sessions with Dr Moodliar and Elise Beeby helped me face my past traumas and current issues.
Early during the second week of my stay, Dr Moodliar diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. She explained that the medication she had originally prescribed for me was an ‘activating’ drug, which explained my mood changes before I went to the clinic. I was taken aback by the diagnosis, which in my mind is associated with very mentally ill people. However, Dr Moodliar clearly explained to me that there is a bipolar spectrum, and she put my mind at rest regarding my diagnosis.
Understandably, my family was also distressed by the news, and Dr Moodliar agreed to meet with them and explained the diagnosis clearly.
In the meantime, I continued to throw myself into every activity provided at the clinic – Occupational Therapy, group therapy sessions, meeting with Dr Moodliar and Elise, as well as the physiotherapy, Pilates and meditation sessions. I also worked hard on my homework and began to understand myself and my deep-seated issues better.
I made friends with most of the patients in my group and grew very fond of them. By the time my stay was over, I was sad to leave – but I knew I was stronger and calmer than I had been in a long time.
I will continue to see Dr Moodliar and Elise, and I will return to the clinic every week for the support group held there.
Every single member of staff at the clinic was kind, always smiling and always gentle. I am extraordinarily grateful for their care and compassion.
There is a long road ahead of me, but I feel secure in the knowledge that the time I spent at Palm Tree Clinic has set me along the right path.