What is Recovery

People can and do recover from even the most serious and long-term mental health problems. However, in mental health, recovery does not always refer to the process of complete recovery from a mental health problem in the same way that people may recover from a physical health problem.   Many speak of recovery as an ongoing process. Something that you always pay attention to, much like the idea of recovery espoused by AA – an active ongoing endeavor.

“Recovery occurs when people with mental illness discover, or re-discover, their strengths and abilities for pursuing personal goals and develop a sense of identity that allows them to grow beyond their mental illness.” Illness Management and Recovery: A Review of the Research, Psychiatric Services, October 2002, Vol. 53, No. 10

While there is no one universally accepted definition of recovery what is universally accepted is that recovery is about more than just managing symptoms of a mental illness. For many people, the concept of recovery is about staying in control of their life despite experiencing a mental health problem.

Recovery is a unique and individual experience and while there may be common themes and experiences, no two people’s recovery journeys will be identical. It is also important to know that recovery is not necessarily easy or straightforward.  Persistence and perseverance are necessary until you find the right combination of treatment, supports, self help strategies, daily living routines and personal attitude     that helps you maintain your balance in order for you participate in the life activities as you desire.

Please see our Recovery Resources page for internet sites that focus on the issue of recovery.

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