Mental Illness: The Guide for Coping and Recovery

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In many cases practical steps are being taken to base services on a recovery model, although a range of obstacles, concerns and criticisms have been raised both by service providers and by recipients of services. A number of standardized measures have been developed to assess aspects of recovery, although there is some variation between professionalized models and those originating in the psychiatric survivors movement. In general medicine and psychiatry , recovery has long been used to refer to the end of a particular experience or episode of illness.

Application of recovery models to psychiatric disorders is comparatively recent. The concept of recovery can be traced back as far as , when John Perceval, son of one of Britain's prime ministers, wrote of his personal recovery from the psychosis that he experienced from until , a recovery that he obtained despite the "treatment" he received from the "lunatic" doctors who attended him. Developments were fueled by a number of long-term outcome studies of people with "major mental illnesses" in populations from virtually every continent, including landmark cross-national studies by the World Health Organization from the s and s, showing unexpectedly high rates of complete or partial recovery, with exact statistics varying by region and the criteria used.

The cumulative impact of personal stories or testimony of recovery has also been a powerful force behind the development of recovery approaches and policies. A key issue became how service consumers could maintain the ownership and authenticity of recovery concepts while also supporting them in professional policy and practice. Specific policy and clinical strategies were developed to implement recovery principles although key questions remained.

It has been emphasized that each individual's journey to recovery is a deeply personal process, as well as being related to an individual's community and society. A common aspect of recovery is said to be the presence of others who believe in the person's potential to recover [14] [15] and who stand by them. According to Relational Cultural Theory as developed by Jean Baker Miller, recovery requires mutuality and empathy in relationships. It is said that one-way relationships based on being helped can actually be devaluing and potentially retraumatizing, [17] and that reciprocal relationships and mutual support networks can be of more value to self-esteem and recovery.

Finding and nurturing hope has been described as a key to recovery. It is said to include not just optimism but a sustainable belief in oneself and a willingness to persevere through uncertainty and setbacks. Hope may start at a certain turning point, or emerge gradually as a small and fragile feeling, and may fluctuate with despair. It is said to involve trusting, and risking disappointment , failure and further hurt.

Recovery of a durable sense of self if it had been lost or taken away has been proposed as an important element.

Mental Health Basics: Types of Mental Illness, Diagnosis, Treatment, and More

A research review suggested that people sometimes achieve this by "positive withdrawal"—regulating social involvement and negotiating public space in order to only move towards others in a way that feels safe yet meaningful; and nurturing personal psychological space that allows room for developing understanding and a broad sense of self, interests, spirituality , etc. It was suggested that the process is usually greatly facilitated by experiences of interpersonal acceptance , mutuality, and a sense of social belonging; and is often challenging in the face of the typical barrage of overt and covert negative messages that come from the broader social context.

When an individual is ready for change, a process of grieving is initiated. It may require accepting past suffering and lost opportunities or lost time. The development of personal coping strategies including self-management or self-help is said to be an important element. This can involve making use of medication or psychotherapy if the patient is fully informed and listened to, including about adverse effects and about which methods fit with the consumer's life and their journey of recovery. Developing coping and problem solving skills to manage individual traits and problem issues which may or may not be seen as symptoms of mental disorder may require a person becoming their own expert , in order to identify key stress points and possible crisis points, and to understand and develop personal ways of responding and coping.

This may involve recovering or developing a social or work role. It may also involve renewing, finding or developing a guiding philosophy , religion , politics or culture. Building a positive culture of healing is essential in the recovery approach. Since recovering is a long process, a strong supportive network can be helpful. Women's Empowerment Theory suggests that recovery from mental illness, substance abuse, and trauma requires helping survivors understand their rights so they can increase their capacity to make autonomous choices.

Advocates of Women's Empowerment Theory argue it is important to recognize that a recovering person's view of self is perpetuated by stereotypes and combating those narratives. What constitutes 'recovery', or a recovery model, is a matter of ongoing debate both in theory and in practice. A review of research suggested that writers on recovery are rarely explicit about which of the various concepts they are employing. The reviewers classified the approaches they found in to broadly "rehabilitation" perspectives, which they defined as being focused on life and meaning within the context of enduring disability, and "clinical" perspectives which focused on observable remission of symptoms and restoration of functioning.

A consensus statement on mental health recovery from US agencies, that involved some consumer input, defined recovery as a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential. Ten fundamental components were elucidated, all assuming that the person continues to be a "consumer" or to have a "mental disability".

One approach to recovery known as the Tidal Model focuses on the continuous process of change inherent in all people, conveying the meaning of experiences through water metaphors. Crisis is seen as involving opportunity; creativity is valued; and different domains are explored such as sense of security, personal narrative and relationships. Initially developed by mental health nurses along with service users, Tidal is a particular model that has been specifically researched.

Will Mental Health Apps Be the End of Therapy?

Based on a discrete set of values the Ten Commitments , it emphasizes the importance of each person's own voice, resourcefulness and wisdom. Since , projects based on the Tidal Model have been established in several countries. For many, recovery has a political as well as personal implication—where to recover is to: find meaning; challenge prejudice including diagnostic "labels" in some cases ; perhaps to be a "bad" non-compliant patient and refuse to accept the indoctrination of the system; to reclaim a chosen life and place within society; and to validate the self.

Such an empowerment model may emphasize that conditions are not necessarily permanent; that other people have recovered who can be role models and share experiences; and that "symptoms" can be understood as expressions of distress related to emotions and other people. One such model from the US National Empowerment Center proposes a number of principles of how people recover and seeks to identify the characteristics of people in recovery.

In general, recovery may be seen as more of a philosophy or attitude than a specific model, requiring fundamentally that "we regain personal power and a valued place in our communities.

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Sometimes we need services to support us to get there". Particular kinds of recovery models have been adopted in drug rehabilitation services.

While interventions in this area have tended to focus on harm reduction , particularly through substitute prescribing or alternatively requiring total abstinence recovery approaches have emphasised the need to simultaneously address the whole of people's lives, and to encourage aspirations while promoting equal access and opportunities within society. From the perspective of services the work may include helping people with "developing the skills to prevent relapse into further illegal drug taking, rebuilding broken relationships or forging new ones, actively engaging in meaningful activities and taking steps to build a home and provide for themselves and their families.

Milestones could be as simple as gaining weight, re-establishing relationships with friends, or building self-esteem.

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What is key is that recovery is sustained. This framework combines all of the elements of the Recovery Approach and adds an awareness of trauma. Advocates of trauma-informed care argue the principles and strategies should be applied to individuals experiencing mental illness, substance dependence, and trauma as these three often occur simultaneously or as result of each other. In , the Center for Mental Health Services, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention collaborated to fund 14 sites to develop integrated services in order to address the interrelated effects of violence, mental health, and substance abuse.

Scholars claim that neglecting the role of trauma in a person's story can interfere with recovery in the form of misdiagnosis, inaccurate treatment, or retraumatization.

Family Guide to Mental Health "Impact on Families"

These approaches are in contrast to traditional care systems. Advocates of trauma-informed care critique traditional service delivery systems, such as standard hospitals, for failing to understand the role of trauma in a patients life. There are other challenges to trauma-informed care besides limits in the United States healthcare system that can make trauma-informed care ineffective for treating persons recovering from mental illness or substance dependence.

Advocates of trauma-informed care argue implementation requires a strong commitment from leadership in an agency to train staff members to be trauma-aware, but this training can be costly and time-consuming. Some concerns have been raised about a recovery approach in theory and in practice. These include suggestions that it: is an old concept; only happens to very few people; represents an irresponsible fad; happens only as a result of active treatment; implies a cure; can only be implemented with new resources; adds to the burden of already stretched providers; is neither reimbursable nor evidence based; devalues the role of professional intervention; and increases providers' exposure to risk and liability.

Other criticisms focused on practical implementation by service providers include that: the recovery model can be manipulated by officials to serve various political and financial interests including withdrawing services and pushing people out before they're ready; that it is becoming a new orthodoxy or bandwagon that neglects the empowerment aspects and structural problems of societies and primarily represents a middle class experience; that it hides the continued dominance of a medical model; and that it potentially increases social exclusion and marginalizes those who don't fit into a recovery narrative.

There have been specific tensions between recovery models and "evidence-based practice" models in the transformation of US mental health services based on the recommendations of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. Various stages of resistance to recovery approaches have been identified amongst staff in traditional services, starting with "Our people are much sicker than yours. They won't be able to recover" and ending in "Our doctors will never agree to this".

However, ways to harness the energy of this perceived resistance and use it to move forward have been proposed. Some positives and negatives of recovery models were highlighted in a study of a community mental health service for people diagnosed with schizophrenia. It was concluded that while the approach may be a useful corrective to the usual style of case management - at least when genuinely chosen and shaped by each unique individual on the ground - serious social, institutional and personal difficulties made it essential that there be sufficient ongoing effective support with stress management and coping in daily life.

Cultural biases and uncertainties were also noted in the 'North American' model of recovery in practice, reflecting views about the sorts of contributions and lifestyles that should be considered valuable or acceptable. Since we all have brains — having some kind of mental health problem during your life is really common. For people who have mental illnesses, their brains have changed in a way in which they are unable to think, feel, or act in ways they want to.

For some, this means experiencing extreme and unexpected changes in mood — like feeling more sad or worried than normal.

Types of Mental Health Treatments -

For others, it means not being able to think clearly, not being able to communicate with someone who is talking to them, or having bizarre thoughts to help explain weird feelings they are having. There are more than classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Mental health problems may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events.

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As with cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental illnesses are often physical as well as emotional and psychological. Mental illnesses may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of these. With proper care and treatment many individuals learn to cope or recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder. To learn more about symptoms that are specific to a particular mental illness, search under Mental Health Information.

The following are signs that your loved one may want to speak to a medical or mental health professional. It is especially important to pay attention to sudden changes in thoughts and behaviors. Also keep in mind that the onset of several of the symptoms below, and not just any one change, indicates a problem that should be assessed. The symptoms below should not be due to recent substance use or another medical condition. If you or someone you know is in crisis now , seek help immediately. Call TALK to reach a 24 hour crisis center or dial for immediate assistance.

Despite the different symptoms and types of mental illnesses, many families who have a loved one with mental illness, share similar experiences. You may find yourself denying the warning signs, worrying what other people will think because of the stigma, or wondering what caused your loved one to become ill.

Mental Illness: The Guide for Coping and Recovery Mental Illness: The Guide for Coping and Recovery
Mental Illness: The Guide for Coping and Recovery Mental Illness: The Guide for Coping and Recovery
Mental Illness: The Guide for Coping and Recovery Mental Illness: The Guide for Coping and Recovery
Mental Illness: The Guide for Coping and Recovery Mental Illness: The Guide for Coping and Recovery
Mental Illness: The Guide for Coping and Recovery Mental Illness: The Guide for Coping and Recovery

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