Article Written By: Devendranath, a recovering individual
I was educated in elite institutes like Loyola School with 6 points, St. Stephen’s College, where I graduated with BA in Economics Honours, completed my MA in Politics from JNU, and a PGD in International Management from International Management Institute, Delhi.
I began my career as a Junior Research Fellow in JNU, later on I switched to a commercial career in sales, and then worked in marketing with Dunlop India, after my stint at Dunlop I worked with Reckitt and Coleman as a Regional Sales Manager, and have also worked with Eicher Motors, Eicher Tractors & Tata Steel and also ran my own business in retail investments until I came to Cadabams.As it happens, I developed paranoid schizophrenia at the age of 35 and had to take a medical separation from my employers at the age of 42.
God has been kind to me through my recovery and achievements towards rehabilitation. I was not put in time out or given SOS injections despite being ill with active symptoms for the first six months in rehab. In the first 3 years I received the Best Residents Award twice, in 2011 and then coveted the Bright Star Award in 2012. This report from my psychiatrist sums up my recovery the best.
“…. had shown tremendous progress all through the treatment process. He was very cooperative with his psychiatrist and counsellors and had taken initiative from his part for a fast recovery all through his treatment span.”…..”He worked for the BPO for more than 2 years which is an occupational therapy unit of Cadabam’s. Now he is guiding the BPO team and getting projects from outside and leading the team consisting of a number of residents to get it done on time. Because of his determination, timeliness, quality of work, creative ideas, confidence and coordination skills more projects are being able to be processed by the BPO team at a time.”…..”He also got the Bright Star Award (2012) for the initiative and hard work he has taken from his part for his progress. Now he takes more initiative and is trying toward to work in a good establishment through which he can come back to a normal lifestyle and also wants to show the world his life as a good inspiration for the people with similar problem.”
From Rehabilitation to Reintegration – this shift took place from April 2013 where I visit Mind Talk to assist the co-ordinator especially on Saturdays. Some of the tasks I have been able to accomplish are banking, stationery purchase, handling courier service, leading the BPO team, functioning as an authorized signatory and much more. This might be part and parcel and daily living pattern for people in the world outside a rehabilitation center, however these are achievements for one who is going through the process of reintegration.
I now live in a supported living environment since 2012 August in a fully functional condition, Aakanksha is a facility away from the main campus which gives confidence to family members that a recovering individual can live by himself in home like conditions subject to being discharged.
From Reintegration to Recovery – had I not gone out of my mental block that schizophrenia does not mean it is the end of the world and worry how I would battle the social stigma that one would face after I stepped out the protected walls at Cadabam’s I might not have reached where I am today.
What is the way out then? The disease is only treatable and not curable. Relapses could be round the corner. Self-medication is always a potential threat area. I have learnt in these last 24 years…that there is a way out despite these problems. And that lies in the correct, timely and supervised medication. As long as you have a good set of Doctors—In Psychiatrists, Physicians, Diabotologists, cardiologists ….etc. – the prime disease of schizophrenia, and resultant complications due to the type of medication, can be successfully kept in check. Medication is the key to success. Living with Schizophrenia—with its complications of Diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, thyroid—all become a non-threatening issue. I speak with confidence because I have all these complications and they do give problems but timely intervention with doctor and suitable medication suppresses the symptoms timely. Welcome to the world of “managed” schizophrenia.
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