June 04, 2004

In the silence of the night.

Five days ago, when my daughter went to her p-doc, he reduced the dose of Haloperidol which had been increased to 5 mg from 2.5 mg three months ago.
However he did not reduce the dosage of Quetiapine which had been increased to 700 mgs from 600 mg. Yesterday my daughter felt manic. She told me that the thoughts were rapidly coming and she couldn't sleep. Late in the night after she took Ativan she slept. Today she felt very tired but she could work in the evening. She said she could concentrate for a short while. She has gone to sleep and in the silence of the night I have time to think of so many events which happened last fortnight.

Last week on May 24, its the Schizophrenia Awareness day, so I ring up a leading newspaper in India. A few days before, a young girl has taken her life because the SMS on her mobile mistakenly stated that she has failed in her Class Twelve, All India Board Examinations when she had actually passed. I was able to speak to a newspaper reporter. I tell her that perhaps if there had been more awareness about factors leading to suicide and its prevention, a young life could have been saved. I also tell her about how this site brought three families battling schizophrenia together and ask her as to why families struggling with mental illness cannot come together and support each other with the help of the Indian media. She writes about 'ordinary people who do extraordinary things'in the Sunday Edition. She asks me to write something and send it. I urge her to meet me. She agrees. We meet and I tell her so many things... especially about how more awareness of mental illness in the media would really help in people seeking help early, and then there wouldn't be so much of disability. I urge them to start a column on mental health issues so that fear and stigma related to mental illnesses is reduced. She responds with empathy. Later I send her the URLs of sites which have helped us. I now await the outcome of my first foray in advocacy.

Today, an elderly man who works in my husband's office meets him and tells him that his son has schizophrenia and his three daughters are all doctors. He is not aware of what medication his son is taking. He also talks about another family who has a boy with this illness. My husband knows the family. In the past few months we are increasingly becoming aware of more and more families in the Indian Air Force struggling with this illness. Each family waging a lonely battle in an island of pain, suffering, torment and isolation. As the father gets transferred from one city to another, very few affected families move homes. In most of the families, the mother stays in one city, takes care of the family member suffering from schizophrenia as well as the rest of the family while the father works in another. We are one of the few who have moved five homes in the eight years of living with this illness. There are presently no support systems for families combating mental illnesses in the Indian Air Force. How I wish that all such families could meet and support each other.

Thank you for your comments.
Dear Puzli,
I pondered over your words which I interpreted in many ways. As the years roll by and my father refusing to see my daughter I find it so hard within me to forgive or understand him. However I shall interpret I Ching in the best way to give me solace. May God be with you. With lots of love.

Dear Moeder,
Thank you for sharing your feelings with me. It gives me some kind of comfort knowing that I am not alone dealing with so many issues relating to my daughter's illness. I am also sorry to hear about your family's denial. I can understand the anger. I feel it too. It was so good that you could nestle in the cocoon of warmth your mother gave you. Dear Mother as always my prayers are with you, Cassie and your family.

Posted by survivor at June 4, 2004 02:23 PM


So glad that you posted..I read your posts all the time.I have a 26 year old schizophenic brother who lives alone with my mom..It's a struggle. Your words give me insight into my mother's strength..With 1% of the population struggling , it seems so small a number and yet, so many suffer.God bless you and your family. I think it's wonderful of you to educate people in the media...

Posted by: barb at June 4, 2004 07:12 PM

Yeap, wide awareness is the best weapon to fight with SZ.

Posted by: Nick at June 6, 2004 03:46 PM

I hope the recent change in your daughter's medication is helping her. Finding that right combination of medication and dosage is so crucial. I believe my daughter is finally on the right medication. Her negative symptoms have improved quite a bit. In fact she is walking a lot now for excercise.

Dear Mother you are such a good advocate for your daughter. I hope the woman you met at the newspaper will follow through by writing about the plight of the mentally ill.

For me personally the last few years have been a roller coaster ride. For a long time I found myself to grief stricken to do anything but mourn the loss of what could have been but now I too feel ready to be more of an advocate. I recently started volunteering at NAMI (Natinal Alliance for the Mentall Ill).

Your writings serves to remind that as mothers it doesn't matter where in the world we live but that we want our children and family reasonably healthy and happy.

I look forward to reading more of your blog and to find out if the newspaper woman you met will do something as a result of your meeting with her.

As always, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Posted by: Moeder at June 7, 2004 10:57 PM

i understand your pain. i live in usa. ihave son who has sz. he is 26years old. we went through so much. just God is my witness. i always read your blog.

Posted by: ruby at June 13, 2004 10:43 AM

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