I have been associated with organization called Schizophrenia Awareness Association(SAA) since 2009 as supporter and volunteer. And I have written on this blog few times in the past(Introduction to SAA, REBT, SHSG). During my association, my understanding about mental health issues, and challenges got better. Recovery and rehabilitation of persons suffering from mental health issues is ultimate goal for anyone involved. SAA conducts sessions for both patients and care givers, covering various topics, focusing on recovery and rehab, along with various other stages of mental health.

Abraham Low, famous psychiatrist came with set of guidelines and methods to employ during recovery process for people with mental health issues. These days, I am reading Marathi translation of his biography written by Neil & Margaret Rau(I will write more about the book later on the blog). Here, I wanted to talk about recovery process. His proposition is around self-help and self-instruction. In 1931, he came up with simple and effective technique to be employed during recovery process. Encouraged by seeing results of this method, he and others were involved in founding organization called Recovery International.

Recovery Method focuses on Spotting, reframing defeatist language, self-endorsement and creating Examples. Some of the most common spotting tools, which we use, during SHSG meeting at SAA are described here. Spotting refers to consciously increasing self-awareness and identifying what is happening and preparing to cope up with it. Reframing language refers to avoid self-diagnosis and encourages seeking help of doctor, many times it is negative or not aligned with reality. Self-diagnosis is very common with persons affected with mental health. Self-endorsement is a technique related to dividing larger goal into smaller objectives, and reminding oneself to stick to those, no matter what the outcome would be. Creating Examples technique encourages person to recognize and record experiences and challenges faces, and failures and success of dealing with it. And more importantly, talking about it and sharing them in next SHSG meetings.

I would like to conclude this blog on a different note altogether. In my professional life, I am involved in information technology business. Enterprises these days have become more aware of disaster recovery(DR). At Sungard AS where I work, we have solutions and services built around DR. Fundamental tenets of recovery from disasters, is backing up/replicating IT environment and data. Disasters can happen anytime. And when they happen, these backups or replicated information is used to recover from the disaster. I cannot help myself wonder on possibility of similar avenue for humans. When brain encounters disasters, it should be possible to recover to previous good state. I know, I don’t want to get into eternal argument of man and machine comparison-we are far from nearing it despite the fact that so much of innovation is taking place around nano-technology and wearable devices. May be, intelligent machines, robots, who carry artificial intelligence, are recoverable in this manner, as they are ultimately machine in true sense. But recovery for human beings in this manner is a scary thought, to say the least.

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.

PS: Update on Oct 11, 2015: I finally finished the book My Dear Ones which is referred above. I have written about it here


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