In Counseling Client’s Own Words – April 2014
I have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety and depression. The OCD illness started in late 2001 and for many years had been quite debilitating. I couldn’t concentrate on my studies in high school, which caused me to drop out and receive my GED. The OCD had in many ways taken away my freedom. This caused great anxiety and depression, which in turn led to more OCD. It was a vicious cycle.
I saw a therapist and a psychiatrist for many years and was on a lot of different medications. These put me in a very lethargic state, and I gained a lot of weight. After a while my medications were cut to two and I started a job and lost the weight. I was fine for a while but then the illnesses started to come back.
I first came to Catholic Charities for counseling in October of 2013, and since then I have had much success in overcoming the OCD. I can now accept the fact that I will always have these illnesses, but I can have them in a very manageable way that will allow me to function and live a normal life. That is something I had much difficulty in accepting. It’s sort of like having diabetes—you just have to manage it and remember it’s just an illness, not a punishment. The therapist also had me see another psychiatrist, and he adjusted my medication, which has also helped a great deal. This has not affected my weight or energy level at all.
In addition, due to the guidance of my therapist, I am going through vocational rehabilitation and could quite possibly be going to college soon—something a few months ago I would have thought impossible. The therapist also told me about a program through the gym at the hospital that I could enter on a scholarship basis. This allows me to get some much needed exercise that helps both body and mind.
For anyone, no matter what your faith or problem may be, I would highly recommend Catholic Charities. It has been a blessing in my life in many ways.
A Single Medical Crisis Puts Family at Risk of Homelessness – March 2014
This southeast Missouri household includes Mr. and Mrs. H, their 22-year-old son, and their 14-year-old grandson, J. J is developmentally disabled and Mr. and Mrs. H have legal guardianship of him. Mr. and Mrs. H are both disabled and on a fixed income, and J receives disability income.
In November 2013, Mr. and Mrs. H were referred to Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri due to the crisis situation they faced. J had been diagnosed with cancer and was hospitalized in St. Louis. Mr. and Mrs. H had been staying with him round the clock. After J was hospitalized for over 30 days, his disability income was stopped. Due to the decreased household income and the expenses of staying in St. Louis, the family was three months behind on paying their rent, and they faced eviction. On top of that, the family didn’t think that they would ever be able to bring J back home due to his grave diagnosis.
Through its Homeless Prevention program, Catholic Charities was able to pay the over-due rent, the current month’s rent and allocated short-term funds toward future rent payments, if needed. The family avoided eviction and did not have to leave their home.
When J was better and discharged from the hospital, the family had to remain in St. Louis for another two months because of the need to be near his medical team. However, J’s SSI payments were restored when he left the hospital. With this increase in household income the family was able once again to pay their rent and utilities.
All J wanted was to “go home.” With prayer and great medical attention, J’s cancer went into remission. In the middle of February 2014, the family was able to return to their home in southeast Missouri.
To date, the family is current on both their rent and utilities. They feel they are no longer in need of assistance from Catholic Charities and were discharged from the program.
A few months’ rent was all this family needed to carry them through this crisis and to regain stability in their lives.