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A New Life for Toran Bahadur

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Comm. Mental Health

Toran Bahadur (name changed) says he does not remember what happened in the past, but he has been assured that with regular medication prescribed by health professionals, even serious mental illness can be cured.

Toran Bahadur was born in a small village called Chirthe, in Ilam, known as the district of the rising sun and tea gardens, in the eastern region of Nepal. Toran was one of the best students in his school and his teachers used to call him the star of the school, until grade six.

Then, like a dark cloud on a sunny day, things took a turn for the worse. One morning he awoke to see his father hanging from the ceiling, having committed suicide. Shocked and unable to understand what had happened, he screamed loudly. After this everything changed for Toran, his school work deteriorated and his behaviour became unpredictable. He often left home for several days and could not sleep at night.

His grandfather thought the situation would improve if he had company, so he arranged his marriage to a young lady. However, even after the birth of their baby daughter he showed no signs of improvement. Instead he started bragging and threatening his neighbours, sometimes brandishing weapons. One day he hit a neighbour with knife and injured him. After this incident, the entire village came to complain about his behaviour and advised the family to take him to Ranchi, in India, for treatment. His grandfather had already spent lot of money on various kinds of treatment, including using faith healers, but he agreed to try this.

On August 8, 2010 his grandfather went to the local health post to get sedatives to enable Toran to travel safely to Ranchi. There he met with a CMC-Nepal trained health worker. After hearing the story the health worker wanted to see Toran, and on arrival at Toran’s home, they found him naked up a tree and shouting. The health worker managed to assess him and prescribed suitable medication. After few weeks of treatment Toran’s condition improved and the villagers saw there was hope. Now, with regular medication, he lives a normal life, taking full responsibility for care of his family.

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