My life has come a long way. I grew up in India in a typical middle class family. In the mid 1990s, my mother was diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia of the Alzheimer’s type when I was 13 and she was just 43 years old. At 16, I became her primary caregiver till she died at the age of 49 – five months short of her 50th birthday.
My teenage years were filled with doubt, anxiety, rage, confusion and isolation. The behavioural impact of dementia on my mom impacted the support my family and I received from others. Our world shrank to the limits of our 2-bedroom apartment. Once an above average student, I began failing classes. I struggled with depression and hopelessness. It is a strange thing to want so badly to help others and then feel hopeless yourself – but that’s how I would categorize my teens and early 20s.
I used several different approaches to manage the long-term impact of my childhood and adolescent experiences. I went to therapy, developed a meditation practice and adopted strategies like intentional journalling and blogging. Today, I feel content and ready to empower others on their own path to lead their most authentic lives.
I went on to pursue my Master’s Degee in Social Work and hoped that at some point I would work with people like my mom and families like mine. I have been very fortunate to work with a diverse population through my various roles. I have been transformed through my work. Each person I have worked with has contributed so much to my personal and professional life and I am hoping to bring that knowledge and sensitivity to you, through my private practice.
You can read more about my personal journey at: http://www.fromoutsidethemall.wordpress.com