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Stacey - Interview 05

Age at interview: 17
Brief Outline: Stacey is 17, currently unemployed and living on her own in supported housing. She has experienced depression and paranoia and she also used to drink heavily. Stacey is reluctant to take medication but alcohol counselling has helped her control the drinking. She loves music and would like to work with children. (White British).
Background: See 'Brief outline'

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Stacey is 17 and has experienced low moods, anxiety, paranoia and bad temper. Stacey says she’s never had a good relationship with her mum and because of arguments and fights, she used to be in and out of home. She was kicked out of school and got in trouble with the police a few times. Stacey says she’s done it all, “You name it, I’ve done it”. Stacey left home at 17 to move to a hostel for homeless people. She said it was really hard as she had no money and no proper food and had to live on a crisis loan, without family support. Now Stacey lives in a supported housing flat.
 
Stacey started drinking when she was about 14. Stacey drinks when she’s feeling low and depressed, to make her feel better. She says though that once the alcohol hits her system, it brings her down and just makes her feel really bad. Stacey says she’s a different person when she drinks, getting angry and upset and also self-harming. At worst, Stacey used to drink 88 units of alcohol a week but with alcohol counselling she’s managed to cut down to 21 units. Stacey’s counsellor is a really “down to earth and understanding” and talking to her has really helped her. Stacey’s also kept a drinking diary. Stacey says she gets wound up really easily, and has had some anger management classes, but says she prefers to handle the situations in her own way.
 
Stacey’s GP diagnosed her with anxiety and prescribed her medication for anxiety and paranoia. Stacey was afraid of getting hooked on them and didn’t want to start taking them. Now she feels she needs to go back to see her doctor to get sorted and to get help. She thinks medication might help her this time. She says she’s worried about herself and that others around her are too. Stacey is in a relationship and says her boyfriend tries to help her.
 
Music’s really important to Stacey. She says you can know her mood by how loud her music is. Stacey would like to work with children and has NVQ1 and entry level 2 qualifications in childcare. If she could go back in time, Stacey would “really love to be back at home”, not let the arguments get as bad and says she’d know now when to shut up.
 

Stacey decided not to start taking medication because she was worried about getting “hooked” on...

Stacey decided not to start taking medication because she was worried about getting “hooked” on...

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They’ve gave me some paranoia and anxiety tablets, when I, but I never took ‘. I don’t take ‘ I was scared of what they’re gonna do to me. Because like a lot of people have told me that you can get hooked on tablets. And I was thinking oh, do you know what I mean? Just, just being paranoid about that, just getting scared about that didn’t like, if I took a tablet, and then I forgot to take the rest, I were thinking what would it do to me? Would it? Do you know what I mean? Would it make me worse than ever when I do take the tablets, what would it do to me? Just being paranoid again, worried about what’s going to happen.
 

Stacey had problems on all fronts; “everything you name it, I’ve done it”.

Stacey had problems on all fronts; “everything you name it, I’ve done it”.

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I can’t remember about three or fours years ago, me and my Mum have never got on. Never really had a good relationship. And then when I were getting older, I was getting kicked out of school, getting into trouble with the police. Everything, you name it, I’ve done it, been there done that. Drinking, drugs, everything, just, and then in the end and my Mum kicked me out. She used to kick me out quite often. I used to go to my step Mum’s or a friend’s. And I just through I’ll go back. So I ended up going back to my Mum’s house, and then it’d all start again. We’d have the arguments, I’d get kicked out. And then in the end I just thought I can’t be doing with this anymore, it’s making me ill. Can’t keep going back, going through it, the arguments, I just can’t be doing with it.

 

So because, I went to the [service], I explained my situation, said I can’t be doing with it any more it’s making me mad, so, do you know what I mean? They referred me to [name] Hotel in [place name] which is right, just a hostel for homeless people.
 

Stacey’s counsellor helped her cut her drinking from 88 units a week to 21.

Stacey’s counsellor helped her cut her drinking from 88 units a week to 21.

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I started drinking really bad. I mean I see, I see my counsellor for that every week but she’s on holiday at the minute. And she has helped me, ‘cos I was drinking 88 units a week, and I went down to 21 units. And then I haven’t drank for two weeks, and then the other day someone put a bottle of rum in front of me, but I mean I drank it. And I was, like I said, I was horrible to see, well to see the video tapes back at me do you know what I mean? I mean [friend’s name] was there, and he says, “You change. You were bang...” I was like doing things to hurt myself. Banging my head on the walls. I mean I’ve self harmed before and I’ve got all the scars.
 

Stacey really likes her counsellor. They keep in touch by calling and texting.

Stacey really likes her counsellor. They keep in touch by calling and texting.

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She [counsellor] understands where I’m coming from when I say things. Helps me a bit, she does help me a lot out. She, well like we work when she won’t, when she needs me to do things like fill a sheet in, she explains it in a way I’ll understand, do you know what I mean? And I understand what she means, and she’ll ring me up, she’ll text me to see if I’m alright, and that’s nice, to make like, my phone will ring, Oh it’s [counsellor name], and she’ll be like, “Are you alright?” do you know what I mean. She’s a nice person, yeah.
 
Yeah. And it’s so important that you get on and like, on a…?
 
Yeah, ‘cos if I didn’t like her I wouldn’t go. Do you know what I mean? If I didn’t feel comfortable with her I wouldn’t go, but I did really like her when I first met her.
 

“Hardcore music on full blast” helps Stacey to chill out. People can tell how annoyed she is by...

“Hardcore music on full blast” helps Stacey to chill out. People can tell how annoyed she is by...

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Music, music helps me out, loud music. I’ll shut the door, music on full blast, just chill; have a fag, just chill. Or if I’m really angry and I’m just, you know when you’re just in a mood, I’ll storm out and I’ll go for a walk. Just a walk on my own, with my phone and my music, do you know what I mean? My music’s everything to me. Do you know what I mean, you can tell when I’m annoyed, because my music goes straight up. But like just, not for long, it just goes loud until I cool down and then I put it to a normal level and then I’ll have a tidy up or I’ll, or whatever, go in the shower, or just chill, or whatever, yeah. Just depends on how I’m feeling and what I’m, what I’m annoyed about.
 
What kind of music do you listen to?
 
Anything on there, anything. I like hardcore, niche, and DG and things like that. Anything really.
 

Stacey says all the professionals are there to help her and sometimes they understand her even...

Stacey says all the professionals are there to help her and sometimes they understand her even...

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They do help you. Everybody helps you out. And I just think sometimes, “Oh you’re stressing me out, you know what mean it, and you’re doing my head in,” but they’re not, they’re just trying to help me. And you just think, “Oh leave me alone.” But they’re just trying to help you. Every single one of them, the support workers, I have many arguments with the support workers, they’re just trying to help me out, and when you realise, do you know what I mean? They’re only doing their job.
 
Alright. They, they, I think they understand what I mean. ‘Cos sometimes I don’t even understand myself. But they do, do you know what I mean? When I’m on about something I don’t even know what I’m on about. I can’t explain it, but they do my bit, know what I mean, and the, they’re doing the right things to help me, do you know what I mean.
 

Stacey is worried about working with children with scars on her arms.

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Stacey is worried about working with children with scars on her arms.

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‘Cos I was self harming, because it like, I wanted to work with children ‘cos I been to [college name] for two years, and I’ve got NVQ1 and entry level 2, and I think, something like that. And I wanted to go back to college this year and do childcare, but then I’m thinking, well do you know what I mean? Working with kids, having scars on your arms, not really right is it really, do you know what I mean? But I was told when I’m angry, to hold ice in my hands, in the palm of my hands and close it because it will hurt, it will sting, but it won’t leave you marks, it won’t leave any or there’s elastic bands, I was told loads of it do you know what I mean? But I haven’t actually ever tried any of them out.
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