How We Should Look at Recovery from Mental Illness… and Recover Ourselves as Caregivers [Episode 2]
Recovery is a very loaded word in the mental health world. It is desperately pursued by parents with adult kids with psychiatric problems and other family caregivers. And as a concept, it has a different meaning medically than it does functionally for the patient in treatment. Parent and family caregivers need to understand the word, and its different meaning to different audiences in the treatment world so they can be prepared to realistically expect it (or not). Most mental illnesses do not have a clear path to medical recovery; that is, getting, having, and then getting over an illness. In fact, they emerge and remain as lengthy or life-long conditions . . .and will be disabling to one’s quality of live. But recovery is attainable in one’s functional live through various rehabilitation strategies, and by utilizing hope as an emotional stamina. As a caregiver, you can understand how and where recovery can be real in a loved one’s treatment. This leads to effectively advocating recovery-oriented thinking and strategies in your loved one’s care (be it hospital, residential, or outpatient). Being focused on functional recovery can also help your own emotional wellness so you can separate your life as a caregiver FROM your life as an individual. Your loved one’s welfare is dependent on declaring recovery goals for yourself. Taking steps to have your own recovery as a caregiver is critical to both your lives.