Academic journal article East Asian Archives of Psychiatry

"Recovery" from the Eye of a Peer Specialist

Academic journal article East Asian Archives of Psychiatry

"Recovery" from the Eye of a Peer Specialist

Article excerpt

As a peer specialist in the Community Psychiatric Service of Castle Peak Hospital, I have opportunities to work with multidisciplinary case managers, people in recovery and their family, community partners, and the media. Through sharing of my personal recovery journey, I aim to emerge as a messenger of hope and healing to people in recovery and their family by conveying that recovery from mental illness is possible.

My ultimate goal is to provide inspiration to people in recovery, and to help them understand that although they might encounter dark times in their recovery journeys, there is also hope and they are not alone. Acceptance of the diagnosis of being mentally ill is difficult for both an individual and the family. I can relate with my peers and their carers on the difficulties of overcoming the stigma of mental illness as well as the fear of isolation and rejection. It does take time for medicine to become effective; however, with courage and determination, recovery from mental illness is possible. Looking back at my own journey of recovery and at every instance of indignity that I suffered in shame and silence, I realise that self-stigma is the first and the hardest battle that I had to fight within myself. It was only with the unconditional love and support of family and friends that I was able to regain my self-esteem and move forwards to deal with the public stigma.

I deeply believe that my mental illness totally destroyed my professional career. I have gone from working successfully as a professional chemical engineer at a publicly listed American company to being an unemployed divorcee, struggling with daily living. Mental illness has stripped away my life. However, never did I dream that my mental illness enables me to help others and gives me a new prospective towards life. …

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