I am a survivor of child abuse. Prior to my mother’s death when I was 11 years, I was a healthy, happy and intelligent child. Post her death, I had to deal with physical, emotional and sexual abuse. I became a depressed, suicidal and physically deformed. (I developed scoliosis which I attribute to my body protecting me from sexual abuse) I spent all of my adult life struggling with Complex-PSTD.
Last year, I took a break from living in a competitive world while coping with mental illness.After one year of self healing using sound therapy, healthy eating , stress free living and with the support of my 17 year old son, I feel I am slowly becoming a whole person – not fragmented by intrusive thoughts and unrelenting emotional pain.
In India the understanding of mental illness on one end means depression, anxiety, while the other extreme it is schizophrenia, or complete madness. During my research into mental illness I came to understand that the mind uses varied coping strategies for dealing with the emotional wounds in one’s life. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM),bible to the mental health industry in America, gives complex terms to our maladaptive responses to our twisted realities.
The western world is waking up to the fact that mental illness is really emotional trauma of the mind, not a chemical imbalance that can be cured by popping a pill. In fact, America has woken up to the sad fact that the greedy Big Pharma has sold a fraudulent premise, that anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, anti whatever works. That is a big lie. Not only do they not work, the side effects from the drugs are not just debilitating but can also aggravate the condition. Gradually, the focus in the west is shifting from a chemical solution to a more holistic solution.
According to statistics, mental illness is increasing in India due to changing societal dynamics. It is imperative that we in India are not fooled by the advertising and pill pushing quacks offering a magic pill to heal our emotional pain. It is up to us to take steps to understand and make difficult choices if we really want to become mentally healthy.
During my journey from a child grieving for her mother to being an wholly integrated loving mother. I have learnt many truths and gained deep wisdom into the human psyche. Like Joseph Campbell’s hero I hope by sharing my journey and knowledge will help each of you on your voyage to finding your own truth.