24 years old
Desmond started experiencing hallucinations and feelings of paranoia when he was 18. He approached his school counsellor for help, who encouraged him to get professional help. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and depression. Desmond was referred to Early Psychosis Intervention Programme (EPIP) at IMH, where sessions with therapists and peers helped alleviate his symptoms and pave his way to recovery.
After Desmond was diagnosed, he was worried of others’ perception of him and his condition. With treatment, Desmond saw a positive change in himself. He started to have interest in activities again. He found a job, and started volunteering as well.
"One of the common misconception of persons with schizophrenia is that they are easily triggered and they are not resilient. But that's not true. We can be resilient, and we can be very strong. We're just like everyone else, we go through stress but we're still able to function and thrive," shared Desmond.
Desmond is currently in recovery and is using his personal experience to inspire other youth who are struggling with schizophrenia.