Barriers to recovery from psychosis: Examining the medico-legal landscape from a peer perspective

Barriers to recovery from psychosis: Examining the medico-legal landscape from a peer perspective
Prateeksha Sharma


In the mental health community around the world the goal of ‘recovery’ is recognized as an important development in conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The phenomenon of ‘recovery’ has significant implications for both clinical intervention and policy formulation. However, in the mental health community in India, ‘recovery’ is approached cautiously. This research is an attempt to investigate such claims on the ‘impossibility of recovery’ and present evidence to counter the assertion that psychiatric patient-hood is a permanent category. In this thesis an attempt to understand the barriers that disable the phenomenon of ‘recovery’ becoming more widespread is made.

Three interlinked streams of inquiry converge to constitute the outcomes of this research. The first of these is the position of the researcher, as someone who has personally experienced both ‘psychosis’ and ‘recovery’, and her experiential perspectives. Due to that this researcher may be seen as an ‘insider’ to the phenomena and the qualitative component of this study as constituting ‘peer’ research. In the second component of the dissertation, a qualitative research, ‘patient’ and caregiver narratives are analyzed to understand both catalysts and barriers to ‘recovery’. In the third part of the dissertation the macro aspects of existing Indian laws are studied to comprehend whether they contribute to any aspect of ‘recovery’ or what impede patients from ‘recovering’.

(a) This study gives evidence of ‘recovery’ from ‘psychosis’ in India, whilst such evidence only exists from the advanced Western countries; (b) It analyzes the barriers that disallow ‘recovery’ from becoming more widespread in India and the global South; (c) It is a first of its kind study in India done by an ex-patient, with an emancipatory perspective to understand the micro and macro politics of mental health; (d) It establishes the barriers to recovery as a three level process wherein the three barriers are nested within one another.


Prateeksha Sharma

PhD defended at

Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad


Social Sciences




Health and Medicine