When he was young, Jobim began hearing voices. He couldn’t tell where they were coming from and he decided he was better off not talking about it. He was already being teased and bullied at school and he didn’t want to make things worse. Jobim didn’t dare tell his parents for fear they wouldn’t believe him. Eventually, the voices started telling him to hurt himself and others. This frightened Jobim, who turned to alcohol and drugs as a way of coping with his thoughts and emotions.
When he was 15, the tables turned and he began bullying other kids. With his drug and alcohol use worsening, he was admitted to a rehab centre, at age 17, to overcome his addiction. Once sober, he found himself unable to handle his internal struggles and he relapsed on more than one occasion. Finally, a psychotic episode brought his mental health issues to light. Jobim was finally given an explanation for the voices and dark thoughts that plagued him: he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. He didn’t like the first medications he was prescribed. They made him feel numb and disconnected. Scared that his dose might be increased, Jobim acted as if everything was fine. However, his perceptive medical professionals insisted on a long trial period to find the right balance of medication. Many of the medications made Jobim feel zombie-like, but today he has found a medication that works.
Jobim believes that the first step to recovery is to start talking. It is also important to be honest with yourself and others, including mental health care professionals. Jobim has learned how to take care of himself, and he takes responsibility for his own well-being. In 2016, Jobim was awarded a Transforming Lives Award from the Centre for Addition and Mental Health and is now studying to be a Child and Youth Care Practitioner. He also uses music and writing to express his emotions, lift his spirits and share his journey and his success with others.