by Tianna G. Hansen
For those living with pre-existing mental health issues, the pandemic has introduced new levels of anxiety.
A few months into the pandemic, Rohan Sharma, of Yardley, found himself in the psych hospital for the 10th time during a manic bipolar episode.
But as he always has, Rohan came out of the episode and psych stay stronger than before, with new creative inspiration that fueled him to release his first EP, “The Mandela Effect,” under his stage name Rx Mundi.
Rx stands for “King” and Mundi means “World,” translating loosely to “King of the World” – Rohan used “Rx” as a symbol for being prescribed medication for mental illness.
His first EP features the single “Maniac,” which touches on tough subjects important to discuss with today’s society, like what it is to be considered a “maniac,” a common term used to describe someone living with bipolar manic episodes.
“The song is a celebration rather than a glorification of ‘crazy,’” Rohan says. “In truth, I feel there’s a little maniac in all of us, but it’s not right to glorify that because mental illness really affects people.”
Rohan channeled his creative energies in new ways when creating this EP during the COVID-19 quarantine.
“The lyrics flowed out of me,” he says. “I really hit a creative boost while working on this; these songs are the truest to myself yet.”
First launched this August to his fans on YouTube, Rx Mundi recently released the single on Spotify, but he has been creating music for years.
His lyrics are hard-hitting and heartfelt, exploring an emotional landscape fraught with turmoil, and searching for light amidst the darkness.
Going through a manic episode can be life-altering for people who live with bipolar, and it’s important we as a society begin to move away from stigmatizing mental illness, and toward supporting mental wellness.
While Rohan’s music may resonate with everyone in different ways, it offers a ray of hope for those who have ever experienced manic episodes or other mental illness.
“I decided instead of trying to hide the reality of how I made this music, I have to embrace it,” said Rohan. “I want to battle the stigma against speaking about mental illness while sharing my music and my passion.”
Rohan was first misdiagnosed with depression, which led to him being placed on incorrect medication and having an intense manic episode while attending medical school at Drexel University.
The episode resulted in Rohan being sentenced to a 23-month stay at Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center (PICC) nearly six years ago.
Since then, he has turned his life around and performed at speaking engagements for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, traveling to schools to share his story through their ‘Ending the Silence’ program.
He shares his story as a beacon of courage for those who are struggling to get help before it is too late.
Also, Rohan published his debut memoir last November, “A Very Thin Line: My Journey with Bipolar,” available on Amazon, which describes his stay in PICC and how he found light in a dark situation.
For Rohan’s musical career, “Maniac” is only the beginning.
He is currently working on his first full-length LP, entitled “Divinorum,” which, staying true to its name, intends to take listeners on a psychedelic trip.
Rx Mundi’s music will transport you into the mind of a lyrical talent that needs to be shared, and shared widely.
You can also find him and listen online at rxmundi.com.
PHOTO CAP: Rohan Sharma