Richard’s greatest wish is for a cure

Richard’s greatest wish is for a cure

Catching sight of a reflection in his office window, Richard had a sudden and terrifying conviction: “It’s a man with a gun!”

At the time Richard was 22 and a promising law student with a stellar legal career in his sights. This unnerving episode happened on his first day of a coveted internship at the Attorney General’s office in Sydney. It was one of several unusual experiences that caused him to see his GP.

“I had a pervading sense of fear and paranoia and it was fear that I was losing my mind,” he remembers. His doctor wrote out a prescription for risperidone then warned Richard not to look up what it was for.

“Of course, we did,” he says. “It was for schizophrenia. I cried and cried.”

Richard is just one of around 40,000 adult Australians facing the daily obstacles and distress of psychosis. Please help today by donating to the Schizophrenia Research Institute, and supporting our quest for answers and a cure for this disabling and still mysterious illness.

Richard is one of the lucky ones. Now 32, he has a full life despite multiple impacts from his schizophrenia that include social anxiety and sleeping 14 hours a day as a side-effect of his medication.

He plays in a band, hosts a radio show, is completing a PhD and teaches a university class. He is also one of our ambassadors raising awareness for the Schizophrenia Research Institute. “This allows me to take the worst thing in my life and make it one of the best things,” he says.

Richard’s father Norbert is very proud of his eldest son. Even so he grieves the loss of the future Richard could have had without schizophrenia, saying: “It’s the most devastating thing that has ever happened to our family. It is the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing you think of at night.”

Your gift to the Schizophrenia Research Institute would help so much.

Schizophrenia ranks among the top 10 disabilities in the developed world. It’s not fair that Richard, his family and thousands of others should live with fear and limits if there is a chance of more effective treatments or a cure.

You can donate quickly and easily online by clicking the yellow DONATE button at the top right of this page, or in the left hand bar. A regular gift of just $5 a month can make Richard’s wish a reality.

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Page last updated: 12:13  9 August 2013