Recovering from a mental health disorder is a process of change occurring over a period of time. Depending on the disorder, the change process and period of recovery vary by individual. When one enters recovery from a mental health disorder, the experience might be new where expectations are unknown. A person needs to trust the process and work with the professional to reach positive outcomes. There are components of recovery that can be uncomfortable; however, the therapist or other mental health professional will work with you to ensure that you are safe at all times.
The recovery process is different for everyone and many will ask their mental health professional about when they have achieved “recovery”. The answer will be different for each person. The goal of recovery is to achieve personal growth in areas such as emotional balance, physical well-being, building and maintaining a support network, and life purpose.
Emotional balance is the ability of your mind to be flexible in the face of challenges. We all have feelings but what is important in recovery is to not allow your feelings to overwhelm you. If you are able to reach a place where your feelings are recognized and processed without affecting your life, then you have reached an emotional balance. It is also a good idea to understand that certain feelings in certain situations are completely normal. We just need to ensure that our feelings do not control our behaviors or jeopardize our recovery.
Physical Well Being
Recovery from a mental health disorder involves finding well-being in our physical needs and living a healthy life. Physical well-being can be accomplished through diet, exercise, holistic approaches such as yoga and massage therapy, or the ability to manage physical symptoms associated with our disorder. Another part of physical well-being is ensuring proper and restful sleep. When a person is tired, it can be more difficult to focus on daily tasks or even eat a healthy meal. Physical well-being can promote strength in our recovery process.
A strong support network is vital for recovery. It is important that you have social support through your friends and family, community support through a church or 12-step program and support through spiritual means including finding peace through prayer or service. Recovering from a mental health disorder takes an involved community providing us with courage and reinforcement to maintain our physical and mental health. When this type of network is achieved, continued recovery will happen.
Each person possesses within themselves the ability to find purpose. When recovering from a mental health disorder, life purpose is essential. Sometimes when we are in the grips of our disorder, we see no other purpose except to live with the disorder and all its demands. Following recovery, your life purpose will take on a new approach. You may discover areas of your life that have gone unnoticed. You may find purpose in working with animals, helping others, or personal creative endeavors such as music or writing. A recovered individual finds and promotes personal life purpose.