Is it Possible to Recover from Mental Illness?

It is possible to recover completely from mental health problems. Some people do. Sometimes people even emerge from the experience feeling stronger and wiser. Others may experience relapse from time to time. Some do not respond as well to therapy. Some respond better to medication. Others will continue to receive treatment in the long term. Psychiatrists cannot predict exactly what the outcome will be for each person.


Unfortunately, people are sometimes told that they will not recover. Hearing this adds to a person’s feelings of hopelessness, which can slow their recovery. Never give up, no matter what you are told. Recovery is possible with all types of mental illnesses. This means that people are able to live, work, learn and participate fully in their communities despite their mental illness.


Environment contributes a lot to mental illness. It is also a major part of your recovery. Supportive family, friends or mental health workers who believe in you and build your hope can aid in your recovery process. Other factors that contribute to aid recovery are:

  • safe and affordable housing
  •  living in an environment free from stigma and discrimination
  • feeling connected within a community
  • having social supports



Stages of Recovery

Recovery is an individual process with stages that people move through at different rates. However, there are some common emotions that many people may experience.


  •  Shock at having to deal with something difficult and scary of which the person has no prior experience.
  • Denial or difficulty in accepting having a health problem, particularly one that many people find hard to understand.
  •  Despair and anger about why the person has to deal with this condition and the related difficulties.
  •  Acceptance of having a condition and the changes it brings, and accepting how others see the person and how he/she sees himself/herself.
  • Coping – Finding new ways to live with and tackle the changes and challenges that having depression, anxiety and related disorders may require.

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