This is the true story of the year long life and death struggle of a woman with severe mental illness and her journey from unrelenting despair to a life of stability and meaning. This uplifting story of illness, treatment and recovery is told from both the perspective of the client, Robin, and of the psychologist who treated her for many years (Sharon). The recounting of the intense and dramatic experiences of Robin’s life covers the years leading up to her year-long “meltdown,” and the subsequent years of her working to re-build her life. Over ten years later she is at a place of accepting the loss of her previous career in the mental health field, and of her independence. She has been able to build a fulfilling life of mental stability despite her illness. Reading Robin’s story can help anyone struggling with significant mental illness move from a place of confusion and despair, to accepting themselves and finding a meaningful life and identity separate from the illness they experience.
Reading this blog will help people who experience mental illness to:
1. Know they are not alone and feel more hopeful that they can truly heal.
2. Have a better understanding of the process of treatment including psychotherapy, psychotropic medications, hospitalization and even electroconvulsive therapy.
3. Gain insight into how the therapists who treat them experience the process, and the fact that even when they may be feeling “worthless,” they are impacting others in positive ways.
4. Feel empowered to find and stick with treatment, stay alive, and work to accept that mental illness is a part of their lives but not their whole identity.
This blog will also be of interest to therapists, family members of people with mental illness, and anyone who wants to feel inspired by a truly amazing experience that positively changed the lives of two people forever.
Note: This is a serial blog. Click on Chapter 1–The Meltdown under “Categories” and go to the bottom to begin the story.