Client Receives “New Lease on Life”

Jamie has suffered panic attacks his entire life. Living undiagnosed – he dealt with the attacks as part of his daily routine – until one day shortly after his 30th birthday. Departing from the office building where he worked, he suddenly found it impossible to make the descent to the ground floor. Repeated attempts to move toward the stairs only left him more frightened.

After years of living in fear Jamie began to feel helpless and chaotic. Not only was he facing severe panic attacks but also manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder. Jamie’s behavior would alternate from states of mania – the “highs” of the disorder to the “lows” or depression of the disorder. In an effort to control his altered states Jamie self-medicated with alcohol.

With the help of his brother, Jamie came to Common Ground Crisis Residential Unit, a short-term, voluntary psychiatric care facility for adults. "I realized I couldn’t do it alone. I needed to get structure back into my life."

While at the Common Ground program, Jamie was assessed and prescribed medication that was regularly monitored to ensure that it was working for him. He participated in both individual and group therapy including art therapy. Through art he found a way to express his feelings and made great progress through his creations.

Having since left, Jamie continues to work with art as a way to release internal tension and enjoys creating in many forms. Chalks and paints are his mediums of choice. He also spends time writing.

The "genuine help" Jamie feels he received at the Crisis Residential Unit gave him a renewed sense of self. "Common Ground gave me more than hope – I now have a new lease of life."