- A book launch
'Fallen Standing - My life as a schizophrenist' was launched at Gyaan Adab. Written by Reshma Valliappan, founder-director of Mind Arcs and The Red Door, the book is an extraordinary, first-of-its-kind account.
Reshma was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was 22. In her book, she writes about her experience of living with therapies and medication, struggling to make sense of her situation, surviving suicide attempts, finding support groups and finally coming into her own.
With rare candour and clarity she recounts her sense of being ‘different’ as a teenager, while rebelling against all attempts to pigeon-hole and discipline her. Her will to overcome the tremendous odds she faced enabled her to gain unexpected insights into her condition, and her story, told in utterly unsparing prose, is courageous, powerful, eloquent and poignant.
The book was released by the author as well as the publisher Ritu Menon and mentor Susan Bullough Khare. Publisher of Women Unlimited/ Kali for Women, Ritu spoke about the process of the book. Reshma’s mentor, Susan, an art therapist, shared her thoughts about Reshma and her journey.
The audience also had insightful questions and Reshma answered them with a profundity about life and her experiences. She shared her experiences dealing with her diagnosis that led her to start Mind Arcs and The Red Door that work on breaking barriers between normalcy and madness, along with a platform that advocates for the rights of persons with mental illness.