Hume Region Early Psychosis Services

Michael's Family Story

Michael's Family


Jenny and Peter are Michael’s parents. They have brought him home but he hasn’t slept, nor have they. And in her bedroom Amy, Michael’s sister, stays up writing in her diary. This isn’t their Michael and no one knows what they should do.


Jenny’s phone conversation to her GP

Mobile Phone "Dr Alex, we got a phone call from Michael’s partner Susie to come and pick up Michael. She said he has been acting weird, talking to himself. Peter and I found him staring at the TV and it took us quite a bit of convincing to come with us. We made up a bed in the guest room but he hasn’t slept. Nor have we. He is muttering to himself and staring intensely out the window. He has lost a lot of weight. What do we do?"

Dr Alex recognised the symptoms of a psychosis and encouraged Jenny to contact their local mental health service. Michael spent a couple of weeks in the local inpatient unit. This is part of the hospital for people who are unwell because of their mental illness. While mental health services aim for the least restrictive environment to care for young people sometimes a short time in hospital is required when young people are very unwell or their supports are overwhelmed. When Michael was discharged he was followed up by the Early Psychosis Service.


The Early Psychosis Workers helped Michael’s family and Susie to make sense of what has been happening. Understanding about psychosis meant they could explain a lot of Michael’s out of character behaviour. With support they were able to support Michael and this was hugely beneficial to his recovery. It did mean that they had to change their expectations of Michael for a while. As  carers of someone experiencing psychosis it was important that they looked after themselves and receive help as it takes plenty of energy and strength to assist  a young person on their journey of recovery.

Most people will recover from a first episode psychosis but it takes time. Recovery is not always a smooth process, there is likely to be some ups and downs on the way. Michael’s recovery was assisted by the fact he had a strong network of friends and family. However with so much attention directed at Michael it was very easy for his younger sister Amy to feel ignored.

Amy's Diary

Amy's Diary


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Information

Links

  • www.mifellowship.org - Mental Illness Fellowship provides rehabiltation services for people with a mental illness. They also provide information, support, education and respite for carers

Other Stories

  • Karly's Story - 16 year old Karly is normally bright and active, but recently has been miserable and irritable
  • Darren's Story - 20 year old Darren has missed TAFE classes and won't talk to anyone
  • Michael's Story - 23 year old Michael has been acting strange and just broke up with his girlfriend