My loneliness is gone, I can sleep and eat with my family
A young 27 years old man has been chained and locked to a tree behind his house. TPO social worker had met this case during doing home visit and referred this case to TPO treatment team of operation unchain project. When TPO treatment team reached him, he could only respond to our questions with a few words, but very poor insight. Therefore, the therapists spoke to his mum and relatives to gather detail information.
He has single parent household with 5 siblings, 3 males and 2 females. His family is poor and can’t afford expense with his studying, he stopped his school in grade 8. After stopping his studies, he assisted his brother in working at farm and rice field. He later asked his mum to be engaged with a girl whom he had been in love with for a long time, but the girl’s parents disagreed and arranged her to be married with another man. Soon after, he became depressed, withdrew from others, and kept himself in the house for many months. He didn’t talk with anyone, including his mum.
Later on, he had signs and symptoms such as headaches, suffered from lack of sleep, would yell, talked to himself, was aggressive, committed violence, had delusions, hallucinations, and could not communicate. After seeing these signs, his mum brought him to see traditional healers and also prepared traditional rituals to pray to ancestors, but he did not show improvement. His mum later brought him to access mental health services in the town of Kampong Cham. Due to his family’s poverty, they could not afford the expenses of travelling and treatment fees. As result, he had dropped out of the interventions. Without treatment, he continued to suffer from various symptoms and would walk without any direction from one district to another. In order to prevent damage or harm to other people, as well himself, his mum made the painful decision to ask her neighbors to help lock him up with chain. He was chained for 10 years. His mum felt hopeless about his recovery.
Psychiatrist gave diagnosis “Schizophrenia”. The assessment followed a treatment plan that was completed, it comprised of medical treatment for schizophrenia, supporting his caregivers through counseling and other forms of aid, and working with neighbors and nearby villagers to provide additional support and address discrimination the patient or family may be facing.
Initially, the patient rejected taking the medication, so his caregiver had to try different methods to somehow get the medicine into his body. This caused a delay in the treatment, as well as in the release of the patient. After receiving treatment for over a year, his signs and symptoms of schizophrenia were relieved and controlled. He could answer the therapist’s questions and communicate to others. However, in the house, there was only his mum and a small baby; his mum was concerned about safety and didn’t dare to free him because when he was sick, he would commit violence and run away. So she decided to extend the time to unlock him until Phchum Ben ceremony (Cambodian religious ceremony), when all her family members visited her and she felt safe to free him. After 2 years of treatment, his family decided to unchain him.
His mum and family members felt excited about his recovery. They have never expected his recovery. They thanked TPO treatment team and donors for helping him to have recovery.
No TPO, no humanity for me, the client said.