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Psych Grad Says He Chose His Course to Help Mom Who Had Schizophrenia

"This is for my mom."
IMAGE FACEBOOK/Al Marvien Cubillan Savandal

October 10 was World Mental Health Day, and one particular student shared the heartwarming reason behind his college major. Al Marvien Cubillan Savandal, RPm is currently working on a master's degree in psychology at De La Salle University and is a registered psychometrician.

He took up psychology as his undergraduate degree, and he says it was all because of his mom who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and negative symptoms such as diminished emotional expression.

Al may have had a different kind of childhood compared to other kids, but the experience led him to discover his purpose. Hoping to help his mother get better, he decided to take up psychology when he was given the chance to go to college and was determined to continue his dream for his mom in hopes of helping others who are living with mental disorders.

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Read his full story:

"I TOOK UP PSYCHOLOGY FOR MY MOM.

"She was diagnosed with Schizophrenia when I was two years old.

"As a child growing up, I never really understood my mom. She would laugh hysterically and she would scream, waking up the whole neighborhood. Passersby in our street would be frightened, some would get curious if there was a fight going on in our house, and some eventually got accustomed to it.

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"I never heard my mom’s lullabies, only her screams. She never walked me through in our graduation but she walks back and forth for hours in her dark room. I never tasted any of her recipes, although I heard she's a good cook, but she bit me for giving her food late. My brother once went home with bruises and black-eyes. He told me he finally fought back from his bullies who were making fun of our mom.

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"Back then, we could not afford her medication and her therapy. That’s why, when I got the chance to enter college in MSU-Marawi, I never had any second thoughts. I promised myself that I would choose Psychology to cure my mother from her disease, the disease that took her away from us, that took her chance to parent us, to love us.

"She died last 2007. It was painful because I could no longer achieve my dream for her. And once again, she did not get to see me graduate and pass the board exam.

"I am now taking up my Master's Degree in DLSU-Manila. And whenever I get demotivated, as I always do, I just think that this is not for me. This is for my mom, for all the mothers who are suffering from mental disorders, and for all the people who might be needing our help."

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