“My family didn’t know what it was but they knew it was serious. So they consulted the gods to find out the cause. Rituals were performed. Yet no outcome.” – Charles Doe (43 years)
It sounds quite strange but I didn’t even know something was happening to me until I got back to consciousness and realized I was wounded. I still didn’t know what happened. No memories but physical pain.
„We did not notice the condition early. When they went to sleep at night, the siblings that he was sleeping in the same room with used to tell us that Charles used to be like dead in the night. And I used to ask that ‚ How can someone be dead at night but alive in the morning?”, Charles’ uncle reported.
My family didn’t know what it was but they knew it was serious. So they consulted the gods to find out the cause. Rituals were performed. Yet no outcome. I became a stranger to them. A nobody. I was even excluded from family gatherings. So I needed to take care of myself. Being neglected because of something I still didn’t have any explanation for. Yet it almost cost me my life several times. I fell into the fire, was attacked with a knife and fell into a toilet pit. And instead of caring for my well-being I was mostly treated as a disgrace.
But one of my uncles made me stay with him. On the 5th September in 1995 he took me to Ketu South Municipal hospital and finally – almost a decade after my first seizures I was diagnosed with epilepsy. And with that being diagnosed I finally got medication to reduce the seizures. Things got better since then but I could never get the education I wanted or could pursue a career on my own. It has kept me from unfolding my potential and talents. And even caused me to be an outcast.
I am one of eight testimonials sharing my story. Things got better for me because of medication and me having the chance to work in order to take care of myself. But I never had the chance to live up to my dreams but in telling my story I might be given a chance to change the directions of someone else’s life.
My name is Charles Doe – thank you for listening to my story!
Charles Doe was diagnosed with epilepsy in 1995. Within the collection we reflect the stories of eight individuals who have been diagnosed with mental disorders and share their experiences of stigmatisation and rejection. The collection is dedicated to them.
A collaboration with On The Move e.V. A charity that furthers brain awareness activities all over the world and opened the first holistic Center for Mental Health, including vocational skills training and rehabilitation programs, in Ghana. Charles participated in the one-year “Brains Cycles” rehabilitation and empowerment program. He later took part in a seven-months vocational training in sales and catering as waiter. In the past, Charles’ job as truck pusher triggered numerous seizures. With his new job, he is now seizure free.
Proceeds of our collections are furthered into a fund to support their vocational training.