Thursday November 19, 2009Mental challenge
Despite his struggles with schizophrenia, Albert Wang is a model of determination.
SCHIZOPHRENIA is one of the most chronic and disabling mental illnesses. Acute sufferers find it difficult to separate reality from unreal experiences.
Some individuals may have only one psychotic episode, while others may have a number of episodes during their lifetime. Despite this, they are able to lead relatively normal lives during interim periods.
Persons with chronic schizophrenia often do not fully recover normal functioning and may require long-term treatment, with the help of medication, to control their symptoms. Some patients may never be able to function without assistance of one sort or another.
Albert Wang Tew Jit, 52, is an extraordinary individual whom I got to know recently. Albert. who resides in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, has schizophrenia. Although his condition was diagnosed in 1981 in Canada, Albert believes that he has had schizophrenia ever since he was a child.
“I think it all started when I was nine,” said Albert. “It was the day when my mum committed suicide. I found her body hanging on a guava tree in the backyard of our house.
“I was inconsolable back then. I didn’t know why my mum had taken her life.”
The little boy was cared for by his older sister who was in her 20s then. Albert has three brothers and three sisters, one of whom has mental illness. Through his family’s support, Albert went on to finish Form 6 and then studied in a couple of colleges locally. But it wasn’t until he went on to pursue further studies in Canada that he experienced the full-blown symptoms of the disease. Unable to finish his education, Albert returned home. His father, a fishmonger, received him with open arms.
“Even though I felt that I had let him down, he was never angry nor showed his disappointment,” recalled Albert.
However. Albert’s woes were far from over. He suffered a relapse shortly after from not taking his medication. His girlfriend abandoned him after discovering that he had mental illness.
After he was discharged from hospital, Albert took a year’s break, before he returned to work, moving from one job to another.
Despite the setbacks, Albert managed to write his autography, The Colours Of My Mind. Published by Oak Publication, the book was launched three weeks ago.
As he struggled to cope with schizophrenia, Albert developed a personal relationship with God.
“It was God who inspired me to write my book so that the world can know what it is like for someone like me to live with a life-long predicament where there is no cure to date,” said Albert.
Colours Of My Mind pulls no punches. It states things as they are. Although readers may read many things in the life of Albert, the book is a testimony of Albert’s determination and courage.
If you live in Section 52 in Petaling Jaya, you are likely to bump into Albert with his plastic bag of ballpoint pens for sale.
“Occasionally I come across people who chase me away. However, most people are kind and buy my pens, even though they own one,” said Albert with a smile.
“If my mother were alive today, she would be proud of who I am now,” added Albert.For a copy of Albert’s book which is sold at RM20, please contact him at 016-284 0277.http://thestar.com.my/columnists/story.asp...c=Wheel%20Power