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The Problem of Recovery

Some people struggle with the term 'recovery' because it implies that a person gets sick, receives treatment and then gets well. But mental illness is not like having a broken leg, getting a plaster cast and later being able to run around fully recovered. In the case of mental health recovery it is normal for a person to have stops and starts and ups and downs across time. Mental illness symptoms might disappear for a while but they can come back. So whether someone is living with a mental illness or, is a family member affected by a mental illness it's important to remember that mental illness is a journey with periods of recovery. And at the end of this journey we might see a lessening of signs and symptoms or be living with symptoms while getting on with life. Remembering this is important, especially because the term recovery can stigmatise people living with a mental illness and their families. They can be perceived by others or, perceive themselves as a failure or deficit in some way because they have not recovered - or the family has not done enough to ensure recovery has happened. Language can be tricky.

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