Ramesh Pradhan, a 45 year old male living in Patan has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He does not recall how or when the problem started as he says “I have been battling with the problem since as early as I can understand. I used to get headaches, get lots of thoughts in my head, hear crows shouting in my ear and have loss of appetite”. Living in a family of 6 at the moment, he considers himself to be his mother’s favorite child as he helps her in all the work that she does in the house. This was not always the case though.
Due to lack of knowledge about the problem in his family, he was taken to many traditional healers and was subjected to various unorthodox techniques for treatment. It reached a point where it became difficult for him to get out of his home without support from other member in his family. With no change in the situation and fear of the situation getting worse, his family stopped taking him to the healers and took him to the mental hospital in Patan. He was examined by the doctor and medicines were prescribed. It helped him to get better but the problem still persisted.
It was around 5 years ago when he came to know about Peer Support Program through a friend who also had mental health problem and had been a member of the group. He has been a regular in the meetings since then. With the regular peer support meetings, psychiatric consultations, counseling and medicines he received as part of peer support program, it has transformed his life as he feels that the problem has subsided to a considerable amount for him. In his own words he says, “Had it not been for the peer support program, I would definitely not have been able to move around freely as I am able to right now. I can now go anywhere and come back to my home with complete knowledge of where I had been and what I had been doing.” He adds, “I am always waiting for the day of the meeting and when I return back to my home from it, I feel very light with burden of various thoughts left out in the meeting itself. I owe a lot to KOSHISH and the peer support program for connecting me with people who listens to me and understands me”.
He says he could not continue his education beyond the 10th grade because of his mental health problem but now he wishes to receive a degree in Bachelors in Business Studies. He now has a renewed hope and an added motivation to look forward to the next day and it can be said that the peer support program has truly been able to transform his life. His determination to pursue education is a further proof that age is just a number and it is never too late to acquire knowledge. We admire his perseverance.