Lee* has a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and autism. He received specialist care and support at a Priory hospital, before moving on to more independent living at Sapphire House.
Lee began showing signs of OCD following a period of illness. Initially this presented as washing hands and avoiding situations he considered ‘dirty’. It then progressed to always wearing gloves and engaging in high levels of hand washing.
His condition began to dominate his life and eventually Lee stopped washing and changing his clothes, and restricted his eating. He would not engage in any activity involving his hands, and only removed these from his pockets once a day to eat a meal. Lee had an extensive ritual to enable this, which was intensified due to his autism.
He could only manage personal care when supported by his parents and this would involve hours of ritualised behaviours. If Lee engaged in personal care, he would not be able to eat on the same day, due to the stress and exhaustion of the processes.
Lee was attending a specialist school to support him with his diagnosis of autism. They were unable to help him to rationalise his OCD thoughts and compulsions and his mental health deteriorated further.
Receiving hospital care
With his mental health needs severely impacting his life, Lee moved to a Priory Hospital near to his home. Here he received the intensive and personalised care and support he needed. Psychiatrists and medical specialists at the hospital worked with Lee throughout his time at the hospital, enabling them to make an informed diagnosis and to develop a tailored plan of treatment and support.
At the hospital Lee engaged in individual and group therapies and learned techniques to help him manage his OCD ritualistic behaviour, his OCD compulsions and his OCD obsessions as well as alternative coping mechanisms to help him overcome his OCD. He was also supported with medical interventions.
After some time at the hospital, it was agreed that Lee was ready for greater independence and a move to a specialist residential home was arranged. He was carefully transitioned to Sapphire House in Maidstone, which is also part of Priory, enabling stability and continuity of care for him.
Achieving positive outcomes at Sapphire House
Lee moved to his own self-contained flat within Sapphire House, enabling him to live independently but to have the care that he needed, with access to communal living and socialising. The team worked closely with him to create positive relationships, and the support he has received has further reduced his anxieties and stressors. He has been able to live his life without his OCD ritualised compulsions and obsessions affecting every minute of his day.
As a result of the support and care he receives life has opened up for him. Since Moving to Sapphire Lee has been supported to manage his food intake and has not missed a day of eating. He has also achieved a number of personal goals including:
- Engaging in a higher level of personal care weekly, which has not been accessible since a young age
- Enrolling in a local community based groups based on his interests
- Going home to visit family and friends regularly
- Engaging socially within the house
- Participating in activities he enjoys, such as visiting the cinema, zoo, walks, board games and attending the theatre.