Focusing on recovery

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Thursday October 14, 2010

Sarnia Observer

Karen Liberman is living life to the fullest, but there was a time when she had descended into madness, gripped by a "pervasive and perverted illness...

"I planned my suicide; I was absolutely certain that I was horrible, hopeless, useless; the scum of the earth. I was desperate to leave the world and relieve my kids of the burden of having me as their mother."

The Toronto resident was admitted to psychiatric units 17 times, often catatonic, and sometimes put in four-point restraints. She underwent 24 electro-convulsive therapy treatments and was put on 27
different medications before finding one that alleviated her severe depression.

Now she is helping others recover as the director of the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario.

The agency is pushing for "mental literacy," particularly in work places and schools. "We're placing a big focus on recovery - how to live life to the fullest wherever you are with the illness."

They're working furiously on a new online confidential recovery planning tool called Mental Health MAP (My Action Plan).

According to Liberman, mood disorders result from changes in the brain chemistry and are often genetically-based. "No one invites this cancer of mental wellbeing into their life.

"I believe we are all moving to a climate of recovery -living your best possible life with or without a mood disorder."