THE FOUR-LEGGED STOOL!
When we first met Mr. A 8 years ago, he was doing his Masters in a prestigious American university. Rather devastatingly for him and his family he was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia, which had in the previous year impacted severely on his life and academic performance. Confused by his hallucinations and delusions, fearful for his safety and struggling to live alone, Mr. A was brought back to Chennai by his family. We treated his acute illness with psychotropic drugs, relaxation exercises, individual and family counselling and nutritional counselling (for his obesity, in part a consequence of his drug treatment). Within a month, Mr. A was able to return to his university and continue his course. He did of course have a few stable paranoid ideas and occasional mood swings.
Mr. A managed to stay on in university and graduate with a Master’s degree with ample family support (in the US from his sister who lived there and from his parents residing in India, travelling back and forth to be with him, periodically). He progressed to secure a suitable technical position in a major multi-national computer manufacturing firm. Here, he was fortunate to be placed under a humane and empathetic boss. Over the past 10 years he has continued to visit Chennai annually for a course of multi-disciplinary therapy with our team. He also remains on fortnightly-monthly skype sessions with our clinical psychologist. He has had periodic exacerbations of mood changes with racing thoughts and paranoid ideas. He has wondered about the intentions of his fellow employees and become agitated in his interactions with them. He has had to take time off work to go and stay with his sister, in another part of the US, for a few days. He has on occasion, especially close to major life events (exams, role transfers) needed his parents to travel to the US and stay with him.
However, thanks to his own efforts, his uniquely supportive parents and sibling, a very supportive boss and mentor at his first workplace, and (in our belief) our integrated care program at Buddhi Clinic, he has managed not only to keep his symptoms under control, but to hold on to a job and climb the ranks at work. When he was last back in India for his review and booster therapy sessions, Mr. A reported that his symptoms had almost remitted over the last year. This, despite his move to a new job at another respected multinational technology major. He is proud to share his weight loss efforts and to seek Buddhi Clinic’s assistance in meeting his new goals including the completion of a management degree in a prestigious school. He has been diligent about his medicines, and has practiced the BUDDHI way (relaxation, yoga and ergonomics) diligently, through the past year.
Mr. A is one of our “happy stories”. One who has been helped by the four legged stool: self-motivation, a supportive family, a supportive boss and adherence to the therapeutic relationship with the Buddhi Clinic team. He found and stayed with Buddhi Clinic and in him we find the raison d’être for our professional existence.