Recovery. It’s the word of the moment with mental health services. They’ll tell you they operate from a ‘recovery framework’. Recovery as the ultimate goal, it’s what we’re all supposed to be aiming for.
I don’t understand the concept.
When I think of the word ‘recovery,’ I think of someone ceasing to have the symptoms of an illness they previously had and are no longer ill. As in someone recovering from an infection, recovering from a bout of gastroenteritis, recovering from the flu. Or if we’re talking mental health issues, recovering from an eating disorder or recovering from depression. As in, they had that illness but do not have it any more, nor do they have any lingering symptoms.
According to the lecture notes from my neuropsych tutorial though, some of the principles of recovery include;
- Recovery can occur even though symptoms reoccur or remain.
- Recovery can change the frequency and duration of symptoms.
So then I was just confused.
I Google searched ‘mental health recovery’ and came across a government document entitled Principles of recovery oriented mental health practice. Maybe I’m just slow, but I still don’t understand this elusive concept of ‘recovery’.
But perhaps it doesn’t matter, seeing as whatever this word means, it doesn’t feel attainable, achievable or realistic anyway. I may achieve periods of ‘doing better’ but I don’t expect to be completely free of depression and anxiety any time soon, or possibly even ever.