More than a decade with schizophrenia: how one UPEI student has coped
Ketan Dulal was diagnosed in his 20s and talks openly about his illness to help end the stigma
UPEI student Ketan Dulal was in his 20s, completing his undergrad in Germany, when he found himself one day walking down the street laughing at himself and everyone around him.
"I had these delusions and hallucinations and it was like a dream-like state," he said. "I didn't know what was happening."
He went straight to the registrar's office at the university, and they took him to a hospital.
It can happen to people, the hallucinations, delusions that I may have if, for instance, I don't take my medication.- Ketan Dulal
It was then, he said, that he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
He talks openly about his illness, and is thankful for initiatives such as Bell Let's Talk that encourage people to end the stigma of mental illness.
But it's not the same in his home country of Nepal, where families try to hide mental illness for fear of being shunned.
Parents didn't understand
His own parents had a difficult time believing anything was wrong, Dulal said.
"I have to explain to them, it can happen to people, the hallucinations, delusions that I may have if, for instance, I don't take my medication," he said.
"Slowly by slowly I made them understand that it is an illness."
Working toward PhD
Now, more than a decade later, Dulal is married and starting his own family while working toward his PhD at Charlottetown's Atlantic Veterinary College.
"I just want to make aware to people it is just a disease and you can overcome the disease and live a normal life."
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With files from Laura Chapin