February 23, 2004

Eight Years Ago

Thank you Puzli. Thank you so much! (for your comment)

Eight years ago, it was so difficult to get information about mental illnesses. Unless one went through the process of a loved one suffering one continued to be oblivious that such things existed. And even if they did one did not talk about it.

We took our daughter to the second p-doc who was working in a Government hospital. My cousin went in and talked with him for sometime. Then my daughter was called in and was there for about ten minutes . Then we were called in and the doctor told us,' I am giving her some tonic for the nerves. She will be allright. As you can see she is in a state of conflict. She either wants to be married which her grandmother wishes or take up a career which her mother wishes. There is a big fight between the two personalities and one will emerge. Nothing to worry.'

There were so many questions I wanted to ask but he waved them off and called out for the next patient. Frustrated and uneasy we left meekly.
When we came home my daughter said,' The doctor said that if I continued to behave in the same way I would be a terrorist. I wonder why he said that, Mamma.'

The doctor had prescribed Fludac, akin to Prozac - one tablet a day. Her condition worsened.

Meanwhile my parents, in a distant town had matched horoscopes with eligible men, found one suitable and arranged the engagement ceremony. 'All you have to do is bring her here. Once she is engaged she will be fine', they urged. I was aghast when their letter arrived. Here she could barely walk.

I tried to broach the topic of 'breakdowns' with several friends. I got no response. Then one morning I rang up my father's old friend who stayed in the same town. I told him everything. He said he knew the p-doc at the Military hospital very well. The p-doc was his friend's son but he was out of town.
My daughter by then had stopped eating. We would get different flavours of icecream which she loved. When I asked her which flavour she wanted, she would say,'I no longer know what I want.'

We again contacted the government p-doc who told us to consult a neurologist. So we took her to the neurologist . There my daughter started talking and arguing with him. The neurologist screamed at all of us and said,'This is a psychiatrist case. How dare such patients come here Take her back to the psychiatrist.' We took her back to the government p-doc who wrote that ECT be administered the next day. He told us brusquely to take an appointment for it.

We are supposed to protect the ones we love especially the vulnerable.
Why was I frightened then to ask the p-doc questions about my daughter's welfare? Why didn't I confront him then about his earlier statement that my daughter would be well? Why didn't I ask him about the medication and its side effects?

Was it because of the conditioning imposed by society not to question something which is enveloped by stigma? Or was it because mental illnesses were the abyss of the unknown? I still feel sorrow and guilt for being silent.
We did not go back to the p-doc at the Government hospital but rushed to the p-doc at the Military Hospital where treatment with Haloperidol began.

Its almost 2-30 in the morning. Shall continue later...

Posted by survivor at February 23, 2004 08:54 PM


I can feel U. I have gone thru similar trauma. I married to beautiful girl, who was very introvert, and was dignosed SZ.we have kid also........but by the grace of GOD, medicines, willingness to fight it.......helped her to cure a lot.............

I can write a lot similar to what U have written,,,YES time has changed....lot of information is available.

when I came to know she has SZ.....tried to collect info about it and when I knew what all it is.........I was also broken.

but when i saw helpless eyes of wife & kid.....I realized only I should stand up and go ahead alone............

I WANT TO KNOW HOWZ UR daughter now...........

Posted by: Nick at February 26, 2004 11:48 AM

Dear Nick,
Thank you for your response. My daughter is on Quetiapine. This medicine seems to be working for her.The symptoms are fewer. She is able to work. Fortunately she works mostly from home. Unfortunately she had gained a lot of weight and feels depressed especially after we have visitors at home.
How is your wife? What medication is she on? Is she able to take her medications on her own? How are you coping? Do you have an understanding family or good friends to talk - about what you are going through? Are there any support groups for families in the town you live?
yes what we have been through is similar.
Best wishes to you, your wife and child!

Posted by: survivor at February 27, 2004 11:39 PM

I began reading your site just today,it echoes many of my feelings and sentiments.
Iam a mother too and my son was diagnosed schizophrenic a year ago.He is 20 and was on the threshold of very promising future in the sense of mainstream achievments.his illness has slowly but surely made me realise the simple joys and pleasures that I had earlier taken for granted.
He is on quitpin too however it is taking a long time for his symtoms to go away.Does it work so gradually?

Posted by: monica at March 4, 2004 01:38 PM

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