Timothy

My name is Timothy. I come from Northern Ghana, Builsa North district.

Photographer: Erin Johnson, Ghana

I had some accident, I fell on a well and my eye hit the corner. So when it hit there, my eye bled a lot. It also meant that the headache started.

The headache started beating me, beating me as if it wanted to divide my head into two. So when it was beating me, I ran away. People tried to catch me to bring me back. Sometimes I can fall down. The pain can let me fall down, and then shaking me. I don’t know what I’m doing. So my brain became confused.

My wife said that she doesn’t love me because I’m falling, I’m a sick person. I’m not well so she ran away and left me. When my wife went it was my mother who took care of me, who did everything to help me.

I didn’t know what I would do. That is why I told my mother I would kill myself and then be free. If I kill myself it is better than to be in the world suffering like this. So I removed one rope from my animals and got on top of the tree. Then I hung myself on the tree.

Three days later when I opened my eyes, I was lying on the bed at the hospital. I asked my mother “Why? Who brought me here?” My mother started crying “Why did I hang myself, kill myself for what?”

They gave me the medicine. So every month I will go for review, and they always come to my house and visit me, see how I’m looking. The falling is still continuing but the headache stopped. The falling is not every day, not every week. Maybe once a month.

When I started taking the drug I looked fine. First I was looking like a crazy person, now there are differences.  I feel more than happy.

The doctor told me I shouldn’t do hard work like farming. If I put my head down and it attacks me I can’t farm. That’s why I started rearing animals, because I want to follow the doctor’s instructions.

Sandema CBR lent us some money for trading and for farming. I now have 16 goats, 5 sheep, about 37 guinea fowls and about 40 chickens. So that’s my work.

Guinea fowls help me, if they lay their eggs I send the eggs to the market. I get money from that. I can use the money on my bills, paying my children’s school fees.

I since married again. My wife can hold me, she can give me food. She helps me to take my medicine every morning and evening.

I’m the organiser for our group. I organise them to come together. Our group name is the Agumchaab (Self Help Group) group. The group is about mental health, depression and epilepsy. So if somebody is not well, like mental health or any of these things, they come to us.

Now I look fine. So every day I am happy, I know that God is King.
If not I wouldn’t look like this. God is wonderful.

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