Richard

Richard had a normal life. He went to the best schools in Canada and Australia, worked on Parliament Hill, at the House of Commons and was teaching. When he started experiencing delusions and hearing and seeing things that were not there, the last thing he expected was to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was 33, married and working in finance, there was no history of schizophrenia in his family.

“Schizophrenia usually starts in youth, being in my early thirties I didn’t think it was what I had,” Richard says. “I went to many different doctors and tried various medications. It changed my life so suddenly.”

While Richard was trying to deal with his new diagnosis, he had to take time off work and ended up losing his job and went through a divorce. “It was a difficult time in my life. Going to work every day gave me focus, not having a job was hard and things went out of control,” says Richard. “I was hospitalized for a month and a half in an attempt to get control of my illness.”

Richard was on and off different medications and while looking for something that worked, he started running, exercising, hiking and eating right and his symptoms slowly started to improve. With his symptoms getting better, Richard went back to school and completed his MBA. Now that he’s feeling better, he wants to give back and help people.

“The stigma with schizophrenia is still strong. No one talks about it. I want people to know that you can live a normal life and find passion again. Living a healthy lifestyle has helped me,” says Richard. “I want schizophrenia to become normal one day and a great way to do that is for people to speak out.”

If you’re interested in hearing Richard speak, contact Michael Torres at mtorres@schizophrenia.on.ca
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