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Through the Labyrinth

"That saw me through the labyrinth. If you believe me you will someday come out, and not because I am saying so; but because you [will] learn to trust your own higher self." —Prateeksha Sharma; Faridabad, India Read the rest of the story...

Prateeksha Sharma; Faridabad, India

psharmaAre you currently receiving any of the following services within the mental health system?

No, I am NOT, I have recovered completely and work as an artist in addition to doing interdisciplinary research in social psychology; to study the emergence of mental illness

In what ways have you found psychiatric medication(s) helpful, if any?

In periods of mania- it could subdue me for sometime, and restrict my running around a lot. But otherwise completely damaging—with a lot of co-morbidity/side-effects

In what ways have you found psychiatric medication(s) harmful, if any?

I developed all sorts of things from thyroid disorder to PCOD, weight gain, lethargy, dullness, low lying depression, even felt suicidal, could never adjust with change nor take it in any stride. I always felt myself in some sort of a tremor...under my skin and that made it very difficult to live life on a daily basis. Only after stopping it all, which happened in Nov 2010- I realized that it was all caused by the medicines and NOT my inner condition.

Has a mental health provider ever told you that you could reach a personal goal despite your psychiatric diagnosis (for example, education, career, independent housing, relationship, children, etc.)?

Yes. Always said I could, because I was very intelligent, educated, articulate, etc. but by making adjustments and of course with the aid of medication only.

If you overcame hopelessness that you could get better from a mental health or emotional problem, was there a turning point for you?

Yes. It is too long, and is now amounting to a doctoral research, to be described here. Already I have written an academic paper which has been published in a journal. If you like I can send you a copy of it. The publisher of the journal is Springer. Mending the Broken Frame: Self-Narration in a Constructionist Framework Psychological Studies, National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India, Springer, September 16, 2011 Authors: Prateeksha Sharma

Tell us what recovery means to you. How would you define recovery from mental health or emotional problems in your own words?

The ability to sing, create songs, make others sing, and to be able to see the world in all it's hues and not get bogged down by them immediately forever. It also means the ability to be a lot more kind as compared to the average person who has never known illness or labels.

If you could send a brief message to someone receiving mental health care today who is feeling hopeless about getting better, what would you say?

Just trust your inner wisdom and believe in the impossible. Do not give up because you still have a role to perform in the world. And believe me because I have been there, I have been abused by one and all and for 18 years I have been in a fog—but I did believe in myself, no matter what, no matter how alone I was for long parts [of my life], no matter how I was labeled and by who, I believed I had a role to perform in the general order of life. That saw me through the labyrinth. If you believe me you will someday come out, and not because I am saying so; but because you [will] learn to trust your own higher self.


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