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March 7, 2019

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Mind Matters

Mind Matters: How a medical condition can affect your mental health

Russell Kimble speaks about how his mental health has suffered as a result of a contracting sepsis in ‘Mind Matters’, a series of mental health videos from SHP and The Healthy Work Company. Although never formally diagnosed, Russell suffers from a form of PTSD, which affects his day-to-day life.

Mind Matters - How a medical condition can affect your mental healthSHP and The Healthy Work Company are publishing a series of videos featuring people speaking candidly about their personal experiences with mental ill health.

In the fifth of the series Russell Kimble, discusses how he contracted sepsis from an infection, following a medical procedure.

Russell talks about how this has led to him suffering with a form of PTSD, how that affects his day-to-day life, how he has changed because of what he has been through and what the future looks like for him.

“I had an abscess on my groin and I went to the doctors”, Russell told The Healthy Work Company’s Heather Beach. “They drained it and basically what happened was the groin became infected and I contracted sepsis and a flesh-eating bug.”

“I was told that they were desperately trying to save my leg and at one point I was given two hours to live.”

Russell says he is now fully recovered, but “mentally it was a challenge, especially when I was ill because I was suffering from a medically induced psychosis where I was pumped with morphine and other drugs.

“I was hallucinating. I was becoming delirious. I was seeing things which weren’t there”, he continued. “I thought the nurses were trying to kill me. It was a horrible situation.”

Although never formally diagnosed, Russell was having counselling sessions with a senior consultant of critical care after leaving hospital. She told him said she’d seen this many times before and said it was a form of PTSD.

After trying various forms of treatment, including CBT and some hypnosis, Russell said that the best form of help for him was was self-help, “helping other people, volunteering, having chats with people who have been through similar sorts of thing that I have”.

“Since having a mental health issue, I’ve realised that everyone has mental health issues, it’s just how we manage them.”

Wanting to help other people manage their mental ill health, Russell has recently become a Mental Health First Aid instructor. “Since I completed the course, I’ve had three, maybe four people, reach out to me who really want help and have come to me for the right guidance,” Russell concluded.

For more on the Mind Matters series, click here.

Mind Matters: Suffering with PTSD.

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