What does recovery in mental health mean?

Whether you refer to yourself as sober, in recovery, or recovered is not so important as you’re doing the work you need to do to stay clean. No one can tell you what to call yourself or how to define your recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health or substance abuse, we can help. Recovery is a long-term process by which a person achieves overall wellness. As you can see from these comments, there is no single definition of recovery, as it varies by family, child and situation.

Recovery is any process during which a person is making an attempt to overcome a condition or addiction that is affecting their health and wellness and their daily lives (personal relationships, employment, finances, etc.). A person who chooses treatment and recovery is making a conscious choice to move onto the next phase of their life. The biomedical perspective includes the views of both medical and healthcare professionals who decide whether someone is recovered from a disease or is still considered diseased. The phenomenological perspective is the first-person experience, the individual experience of being recovered or not. The social perspective is the view of the social environment on the individual as recovered or not. This view produces the expectations that society has of an individual.

Meaning of recovery in English

Think of it as a dictionary for recovery that provides definitions of common terminology used in recovery circles and in addiction treatment. The etymology of the verb «to heal» originates from old English, meaning “to make whole” (Online-Etymology-Dictionary n.d.). Put differently, when is one not whole, or when does one change to be a different whole? According to the phenomenologist Fredrik Svenaeus (2019, 2000), illness is the experience of uncanniness or ‘unhomelike being in the world’ that arises from changed conditions of embodiment. Carel describes the experience of illness as ‘the shrinking of one’s world’ (Carel 2014, 2016).

  • This seems obvious to most of us today but in 2005 when the agency was tasked with developing a definition and principles of recovery this signaled a momentous shift.
  • These might include faith-based approaches, peer support, family therapy, self-care, exercise and fitness, meditation, and mindfulness.
  • Drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be wildly uncomfortable, which is why we also treat withdrawal symptoms with optimal comfort in mind.
  • Many phrases in the addiction field have been tossed around for years without being clearly defined or even being meaningful.
  • Recovery from sickness can result in a more productive state, for example when people realize that they are not happy with their job during sick leave and decide to do something else, which they like, and therefore invest more in work than before.

In light of the phenomenological view, I suggest that healing is a process of creating a new feeling of homelikeness, which makes one whole with one’s body, expanding one’s world to the degree that allows for wellness. In the model below, people who are healthy (green) can go through mild and reversible distress or functional impairment (yellow), to more severe, persistent injury or impairment (orange), to clinical illnesses and disorders requiring more concentrated medical care (red). Mental health is best understood as a matrix, where people can move among states of mental well-being regardless of mental illness. They can flourish or languish, depending on individual functioning, social well- being and mental health issues. It just means that you are working on successfully managing your addiction and regaining control of your life.

2 Media messages about recovery

However, like the state of disease, injury can overlap with illness and sickness, thus presenting a more complicated picture of recovery, which is not only an outcome of biomedical treatment. Whether you are diagnosed with a mental illness, or you are a caregiver to someone who has an illness, or neither, mental health is just as important as physical health. By taking care of your mental health you can live your life to its greatest potential; by maintaining it you will be able to enjoy the simple sober house things in life that make you happy. It will allow you to manage the stressful things in life and allow you to enjoy what you love. After many years of viewing mental illness as a condition that deprives people from having fulfilled lives, a new vision emerged. This vision, called the Recovery Vision, stipulates that every person, as sick as he/she may be, can embark on a journey of healing and transformation and can live a meaningful life while striving to achieve his/her maximum potential.

what does it mean to be in recovery

Therefore, the patients are considered to be recovered and no longer sick. An example of a case where an individual are no longer sick (or no longer sick and ill) but still diseased would be one in which someone has a tumor https://www.healthworkscollective.com/how-choose-sober-house-tips-to-focus-on/ that is regarded as removed but was not fully removed or which was considered by mistake as non-invasive. This is an actual medical condition that requires treatment, but it is not recognized by the treating professionals.

Steve Jano Author