Volunteers support a Schizophrenic patient

At 31, Dawa is battling Chronic Schizophrenia.

Abandoned by his siblings, he landed up sleeping in drains and feeding from trash cans. He had been loitering around in Gelephu in shabby clothes and with messy hair.

He had been in this condition for more than a year until a month ago volunteers from All For One, One For All (A11A) voluntary group, found him and took him under their care. They provide him shelter and food.

A psychiatrist at JDWNRH, Dr. Chencho Dorji shared, “We don’t know how long it will take for him to completely recover but as long as he continues to take medication he will be better.”

He said that as much as medicines can improve a person’s mental state, social support is also essential.  He was treated in 2015 for the same disease and his brother who didn’t want to be named was with him then.

His brother said, “We went to an astrologer and performed rituals as they advised. But he went back to being helpless.” He added that he tried everything but all have been in vain.

The brother even signed a legal agreement with the team that he has no objection regarding the custody of Dawa.

Dawa who is from Norbuling, Serzhong gewog in Gelephu has a brother and a sister who now have given up on looking after him.

The sister who chose anonymity said, “We took care of him in the beginning but he used to run away repeatedly. We couldn’t take care of him as we’re busy with our own work.”

Dawa was referred to JDWNRH on June 13. At the psychiatry ward, the attendant who attends to Dawa said that he is not as violent as people assume mental patients to be. “But he gets irritated when he sees new faces.” The attendant is paid by the A11A group.

Dawa will be sent to a rehabilitation after medication. A member of A11A  Depak Pokhrel said the group will try to find him a job so that he can sustain.

Rinchen Zangmo

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