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How Do We Recover? An Analysis of Psychiatric Survivor Oral Histories by Oryx Cohen
This article analyzes interview and survey data collected during the course of the MindFreedom International Oral History Project from June 1 through September 1, 2001 . The purpose of the MindFreedom Oral History Project was to gather stories of experiences in the mental health system from the psychiatric survivor or ex-patient perspective. Thirty-six people participated in the study, most of who consider themselves “psychiatric survivors. ” Qualitative and quantitative analysis reveals four major themes emerging from these histories : trauma, social control, internalized oppression, and recovery. The focus of this article is on the theme of recovery. Participants demonstrated resiliency and a strong ability to ” recover.” No “magic bullet ” was found to work for all participants’ recovery process; instead, participants used a variety of selfdesigned strategies to recapture their once broken lives.