This Hyderabad lad beat schizophrenia to excel in academics

After graduating with flying colours, Reijul Sachdev is now looking to speed up the right diagnosis of mental illness and is leaning on technology to achieve the speed.

Published: 08th July 2019 06:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th July 2019 06:04 PM   |  A+A-

Integrated MTech student Reijul Sachdev receives the Sir M Visvesvaraya Scholarship Award at the 19th convocation ceremony of IIIT-B | Express

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Reijul Sachdev, an Integrated MTech student of International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru (IIIT, Bengaluru), was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was in the third year. His condition caused him to drop two years of college, but that failed to deter him from excelling in academics. At the 19th convocation ceremony of International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru (IIIT, Bengaluru), which was held on Sunday, Reijul won the Sir M Visvesvaraya Scholarship Award. He hails from Hyderabad.

After graduating with flying colours, he is now looking to speed up the right diagnosis of mental illness and is leaning on technology to achieve the speed. Under the umbrella of ‘common sense reasoning,’ he looks to find a solution where the computers can analyse answers to questionnaires given to participants for precise diagnosis of mental illness and in record time. This will supplement the gamut of tests that people have to go through at present. After episodes of mild epilepsy, hallucination, persecution complex, he recalls how he was initially diagnosed with bipolar, epilepsy and obsession. Only later did doctors settle on schizhophrenia.

“Just sitting in a room would make me imagine that people were talking to me. It would be distracting for others. And at times, I would get violent,” he recalled. It was during his internship with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that doctors realised it was schizophrenia. “The college really helped me out,” he added.

While it took time for the medical fraternity to point out to his specific condition, he said “if this process could be speeded up, treatment will be more effective,” he told The New Indian Express.

Expression through poems

Reijul was put on medication but what came to his rescue as a medium of expression was poetry. Even before he was correctly diagnosed, Reijul found solace in poetry. For two years, he wrote about his experiences with schizophrenia, and his book-- an anthology of poems — ‘Emerald Blade’, was published in 2016. It became a means for those with the same condition to connect. “Emerald Blades is an anthology of poems stemming from my experiences, both as a juvenile diabetic and a borderline schizophrenic,” Reijul says in the introduction to the book, which is available on Amazon. Reijul plans to pursue PhD from MIT in future.

277 students graduate, 95% get placed

As many as 277 students graduated from the International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru (IIIT-Bengaluru) on Sunday. The convocation ceremony was held on the institute’s premises at Electronics City. While seven students were awarded PhD degree, five got Master of Science by Research degree, 162 MTech degree, 10 MSc in Digital Society degree, 60 dual degrees and as many as 33 students received the sponsored MTech degree. As many as 95 per cent of students have been placed with an average salary of Rs 17.42 lakh per annum this year. The highest salary package offered was Rs 65 lakh per annum, said an official at the institute. As many as ten students have decided to pursue higher studies and have received PhD and MS offers from prestigious universities across the globe.

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