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Healed Patient Stays Positive

Healed Patient Stays Positive
Sister Sereana Naqarase graduated from Corpus Christi Teachers College at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Suva on November 22, 2018. Photo: Sheenam Chandra
October 11
08:07 2014

Marise Waqa, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2010, spoke of her experience at the World Mental Health Day, observed at the Holiday Inn Suva on Thursday.

The event was collaborated by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, St Giles Hospital, the Psychiatric Survivors Association, Youth Champs for Mental Health and the Fiji Alliance for Mental Health.

Ms Waqa said it was really hard for her to come out for the first time.

“For me personally it is very hard. When you work in a bank you become a public figure and so many people know you. Even when I was admitted at St Giles I saw some of the nurses who were my customers. It was really hard to face it,” Ms Waqa said.

The mother of three said she had just resigned from the ANZ Bank after twenty years of service on February 2010 and was diagnosed with the sickness seven months after.

“I started working with the ANZ Bank when I was 19. I resigned twenty years after    on February 2010. After resigning I went to Sydney, in Australia for a holiday for three months and returned home. When I came back I started to fall sick,” Ms Waqa said.

She said she started acting and feeling strange.

Later her husband took her for a check-up at the St Giles Hospital months after her new behaviour developed.

“The first time I went to the hospital the doctors asked me several questions and diagnosed me with schizophrenia and gave me pills. I went back home but the sickness did not go away and my husband took me back to the hospital,” Ms Waqa said.

She said she was later admitted at St Giles and got better after a few days.

Ms Waqa said her family was very supportive the whole time.

“At first my family was very surprised but they were very supportive and understanding. My eldest daughter who was in Year 12 at the time would accompany me when I used to go back to the hospital for counseling,” Ms Waqa said.

She said she has fully recovered and now works at the Psychiatric Survivors Association.

““I believe everyone has some sort of disability in them one way or the other. We just have to get better, heal and move. Stay positive,” Ms Waqa said.




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