The Tussle Between Sanity And Derangement.
Tony, a tall, handsome and mild-mannered 22 year-old realized his aspirations when he joined an international airline as a cabin crew soon after graduation. He loved travelling and was on the top of his world, as he flew into cities around Europe each week, soaking up the differing cultural environment every trip. On one of these early morning flights, as he rushed to work, he left his name tag at home. His supervisor grounded him, and this left an indelible anxious impression on his mind. It ensured that he would not repeat the same mistake again. However, each future flight preparation brought on an increasing level of anxiety that kept him awake some nights, at times accompanied by nightmares. Tony’s health soon deteriorated, but he was not ready to seek help, nor to throw the towel in for another job. 6 months later, he absent-mindedly left his name tag in his cabin crew coat pocket that he had sent for cleaning. He was frantic attempting to locate it initially, and called his supervisor to say that he was not feeling well that evening, just hours before his flight. The next day, he tracked down his dry cleaners and recouped his name tag. A few days later, instead of a schedule for his next flight duties, he received a termination letter from the airline office. Tony was devastated – his world collapsed!
Sleepless nights, walking aimlessly around, and drinking himself drunk became a regular routine. He could not forgive himself for committing the same mistake and loosing his airline job. Soon, he began to suspect that it was all a plot by his supervisor and his other cabin crew colleagues to ditch him from the team. He actually thought they had cursed him out of his job. Nobody around him, neither his family nor close friends noticed that his condition was worsening. It took a fistfight with his younger brother one evening, when the police had to be summoned, as Tony became violent, that eventually determined Tony’s ailment. From the police station, he was sent straight to a mental hospital, where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He remained warded for 2 weeks. Two months after his discharge, Tony became delinquent with his medication. Sometimes, weeks went by when he did not take any of the prescribed meds.
In one of his more sober phases, he got to know a young lady who had been rather sympathetic to his circumstances, and they became friends. She helped remind him of his responsibility to take his daily med doses, until their first quarrel. He stopped his meds. After several days of remaining apart, he visited her at her apartment. She would not allow him in, as she was living on her own. He forced his way in and refused to leave. After dinner together, he forced himself on her sexually despite her resistance.
I saw Tony after his incarceration, when he again became delinquent in his medication regime. His demeanour was in sharp contrast to his cabin crew days; from a photograph he handed to me during our initial interview, when he was smartly dressed in his flight uniform. His family had given up on him and left him to his own devices. He worked intermittently, unable to hold on to any job long-term.
Nine months later, Tony had held on to a 6 hours per day job for 6 months – the longest time he had been on a job since his first psychotic episode. With some assistance, he became more medication compliant.