Recovery from mental illness is possible, but recovery means something different to everyone. For one person it might mean being free of their symptoms while for another person, they might consider themselves as being in recovery when they can feel hopeful about the future again.
What is recovery?
When your doctor talks to you about recovery, they will be referring to you being free from symptoms, which is sometimes referred to as ‘clinical recovery.’
But your own personal recovery is important too. Everyone wants to have a happy and meaningful life, and people who have suffered from mental ill health are no exception.
Recovery is a process
The thing to remember about recovery is that it’s a process. You might have recovered from depression but it doesn’t mean you’ll never have another day where you’re feeling low. Recovery is about learning about yourself and finding ways to cope that work for you. When you can cope better, then you can start building the life you want for yourself.
What can help you recover from mental illness?
Having a good social network
Many people feel isolated and withdraw when they are ill, but having people you can talk to can help you stay well. They might be able to spot early warning signs that you’re becoming unwell again too. Make time to visit friends, family, or colleagues if you’re working; it can be something as simple as going for a walk or a coffee.
Getting the right treatment
Treatments like medication will help to get your symptoms under control, but that’s only the first step on your road to recovery. You might be referred for talking therapy, art therapy, or exercise on prescription, depending on what’s available in your area.
Having a recovery plan
If you have a care team, or even if you don’t, having a recovery plan is a great idea. It can help you identify things that might help or hinder your recovery, as well as allowing you to note down the early warning signs that you’re becoming unwell so you can get help quicker.
Making changes to your lifestyle
Having a healthy lifestyle can improve your wellbeing and help your recovery. Having a healthy routine in place is a good starting point because it gives structure to your day. So things like making the time to exercise regularly, adopting a healthy sleeping pattern, eating well, and doing activities where you can learn new skills and meet people are all part of a healthy and well-balanced life.
Educate yourself about mental health
Whether you’re living with, or recovering from a mental illness, or you know or look after someone who is, you’ll benefit from learning about the signs and symptoms, different mental health conditions, where to go for help and support, and what helps people recover. Our range of mental health courses are designed to give you the skills and knowledge to help others and yourself. Mental health education is the first step to getting rid of stigma and increasing understanding, and that benefits everyone.