My name is Shuvender Sem, or Shubi for short. I’m the son of hard-working immigrants who came to America in the 1970s. Born and raised in suburban Pennsylvania, life was a Hindu version of baseball and apple pie. My biggest hero, my dad, was the center of my world but raised me to exist in his world back home. This merge of cultural values and personality traits had its ups and downs, eventually leading to a generational father-son clash.

While running my dad’s store after college, I began having auditory hallucinations due to my stressful schedule. At the time I was trying to fill my dad’s shoes and was failing miserably. Over time, the delusions intensified, causing me to be hospitalized many times. I just couldn’t shake the feeling of trying to be something I wasn’t.

This feeling became a lifelong journey into the abyss of mental illness-a journey that led me to a place where I eventually found healing and ultimately found myself. I have now dedicated my life to teaching others about Schizophrenia and sharing my story.

My goal is to make life better for people suffering with mental illness and their families. I want people to know that Schizophrenia doesn’t have to define you. There are no obstacles too big that will prevent you from your life’s purpose. You can live a full, meaningful life that positively impacts others. I’m living proof of that. And you and your loved ones can be, too.