Smelling the sweet fragrance of life

Over a year ago a young man arrived at the hospital in need of psychological help. He had been almost entirely isolated and depressed for 9 years of his life. He was plagued by olfactory delusions and hallucinations (the unshakeable belief and experience of having a body odor unbearable to himself and others). His condition affected every area of his life, and it rendered him incapable of pursuing a career or having a normal social Iife. He was immobilized by it. He discontinued his studies, stopped visiting people due to the excessive olfactory concerns, could not work, and had no motivation or desire to interact with the outside world. His world became reading newspapers, listening to the radio, and seeing a handful of close relatives and his girlfriend. He became aware that the Stellenbosch Provincial Hospital offered psychological services to the community of Stellenbosch, and eventually sought help. After 4 months of intensive psychotherapy and medication, his life has been turned around entirely. He has had a full-time job ever since, is getting married soon, wants to continue studying and has a healthy social life. This is one example of someone who has benefited from therapy at the Stellenbosch Provincial Hospital, and there are many more who come away more functional and balanced due to their encounters with helping professionals. This service is crucial in a community where people would otherwise not be able to afford the services of a psychologist.