Mental Health “Recovery”: Users and Refusers (Wellesley Institute, 2009) is a look at recovery mined from peer-led focus groups of psychiatric survivors. (The label was hotly debated then as now, but they went with “survivor” for this article.) They were asked what recovery means …

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What’s Involved in Mental Health Recovery?

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  1. Interesting. In the Netherlands, recovery is by no means limited to those well off enought o support themselves. IN fact, it is open to those who reside in institutions (I’m not sure whether there is any recovery group for homeless people), for whom recovery may not mean to gain employment and independent living, but to keep their symptosm under reasonable control and to have an active role in their own treatment. Here, the individualized journey that recoveyr is, is being highlighted more than all the shiney examples of social inclusion etc.

  2. To some of us…recovery means freedom from dibilatating symptoms, feeling good about yourself, being able to cope with adversity, loss & pain without needing help other than yourself and keeping a positive attitude. It means no longer having to take drugs with awful side effects, being able to sleep, exercise, make friends, party and enjoy activities, do volunteer work, help others, be able to handle the “normal” emotions that any self proclaimed person who claims to be “normal” has, finding spirituality and a connectivness to the world, experiencing good health or coping with physical impairments without feeling like you’re a victim, having real doctors, leaders in the field say – you are perfectly fine, stable, well adjusted and show NO criteria for mental illness (although the gold diggers want to believe that is unobtainable). Forgiving and making peace and feeling good about it, having good solid relaationship with family, successful happy marriage, not having any regrets, knowing that it’s stigmatizing to put people in boxes expecting them all to turn out the same just because the DSM does not account for healing…and most of all – knowing and having others see that you accomplished much of it yourself. Have I made my point or is this too vague. I was BPD and DID. I am not longer either. I do have MS, but that’s something I can live with. It’s not fun, but I know there’s more to life than suffering.

  3. Another must read is 100 Ways to Support Recovery Dr. Mike Slade at
    http://www.mentalhealthshop.org/document.rm?id=8914

    In it Slade makes the distinction between personal recovery and the kind of recovery that is most often associated with recovery as it makes its ways into things like professionally driven treatment plans.

  4. Mental Health Recovery, what does it mean? This is my story and what has worked for me. Getting up in the morning and finding new purpose for each day. Realizing that yesterday is gone, will never come this way again, and yes, today I have a chance to make a difference in the life of someone today. What do I choose to do with my life today? What do I choose to dwell on, think about, what will be done in order to make a positive impact on someone else, other than myself; trying to think beyond my borders–all part of the process of my mental recovery. Recovery has been a journey, and I do not think that it is a process that is ever completed…it is a process that is daily being renewed, changed and redefined. Recovery is God doing a great work in my heart, changing me from the inmost, secret place and then those changes being reflected in the outter man. Mental recovery is God teaching me how to love myself according to what His Word says about me and the plans that He has for me. I am wonderfully created, He has a plan and a purpose for my life and I choose to belive and walk in that plan and purpose.

    I scrapped the notion of depending on medical doctors for my recovery and am allowing the Great Physician to teach me how to live by the spirit-man and I am now finding full life, real life, abundant life. All must seek and their own way; I am alive and well because of what God has done in and for me. To Him be glory, honor and praise.

  5. A Recovery model program was outlined to me in the early 80s in Nova Scotia. I didn’t get involved because it seemed empty and powerless. My recovery is ongoing and is in spite of, rather than because of, most so-called professional helpers. I believe that, as the previous commentator suggests, God is the only one who can deliver the goods!

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