My name is Bhavana, and I have been suffering from schizophrenia for the past 7 years. I got my first attack in 2010, when I was in 12th standard. Since then, I have had 3 more severe attacks.
Schizophrenia is the biggest practical exam of life. During a schizophrenic attack, we are asked a lot of questions by unknown voices, and we have to answer them or we can’t move ahead. We are tangled in many puzzles simultaneously. It’s a real-life snakes and ladders game where we have to identify what is real and what is just imagination. In other words, we can say that we have to find out the difference between the input given to us by telepathy and the input given by persons who physically exist.
If we recognize correctly, our performance to the real world is normal and we are allowed to breathe in society. If we are unable to identify them, we are declared ill and sent to mental hospital.
It’s really a great challenge as your mind works day and night. Everything is connected and hotchpotch. Our brain keeps working until it has a single drop of blood to feed on. In my case, I used to feel the taste of blood in my mouth, due to the activity of my brain. Schizophrenia reaches beyond the human morals, ideal and hypothesis. One experience is enough to destroy all dreams and normality of human life.
Have you ever heard about neutrality attack?
After schizophrenia, my system became complete neutral with no dreams and desire. This condition was like a dead body moving without a soul or signs of being recognized as human.
Neutrality attack has no time or place, it can come anytime anywhere. When I cross the road or am walking in a mall, I feel like throwing all the things I carry also but I can’t because I don’t want to create a scene.
When all human resources fails to help, God himself has to come to help us. He shows the accurate and unmistakable path. He opens the 101th door after 100 doors have been closed.
Here, I would also like to tell you how the medical department has helped me. A team of doctors started my treatment without telling me that my condition was a serious mental illness and has a name. They started giving me medication without informing me about the extent of my illness. Do we not have the right to know what has happened to us and what treatment options are available? After four years, I accidentally got to know the name of my illness.
In 2016, Maneka Gandhi questioned how people with schizophrenia can be given work. I completely agree with her point. But the journey doesn’t stop here.
You know what did I do during this seven-year phase of my schizophrenia? Rather than suffer from side effects like reduced hearing power, very low reading capability, inability to make decisions, I pursed my graduation BSc IT. Not only did I pass with first division, I am a topper. And after this, I appeared for entrance exams and got into a top engineering college in Rajasthan to complete my post graduation, also in first division. I also successfully completed my last semester internship from a noted IT company in Hyderabad.
I left the company a little later to prepare for UPSC but since that can be tough to do in this condition, I’m first preparing for banking exams in Jaipur. Seeing how satisfied my boss was with my work during the internship, I can assure you that I am capable enough to survive and work alone.
Schizophrenia itself is a war and we have to fight it.