Five Ways to Recover

Mental Health Recovery is known as “a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential”(PsychologyToday). In the article Five Common Factors That Foster Recovery From Mental Illness by Psychology Today. They discuss the five ways one can recover from mental illness. Recovery is never easy, and it is a struggle, but these five ways are helpful ways to improve your mental health.

  1. Clinical Recovery-This refers to recovery in a clinical setting. It usually includes talking to a therapist, taking medication, and behavioral interventions. It is important not to just take medication, but to talk to a therapist as well, since medication only alleviates the symptoms. It does not solve the underlying cause of the symptoms. A therapist can help with the real problem.
  2. Existential Recovery-This recovery is to help fill the existential void one has. This usually refers to individuals whom have lost hope, meaning, and purpose in their lives. In most cases it is individuals with depression. Some ways to fill the existential void towards recovery are religion, spirituality, and finding new meaning and purpose in life. This includes volunteering, taking on a meaningful job, or having meaningful relationships. This recovery includes doing something meaningful and fulfilling for oneself.
  3. Functional Recovery-This recovery has to do with being able to function within a society. Many people with mental illnesses are homeless, and unemployed. It is important for recovery to be able to maintain a job, get a house, and maybe even further education.
  4. Physical Recovery-This recovery involves physical health. People with mental illness have higher rates of physical health issues. This includes poor diet, lack of exercise, and use of substances such as, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes etc,. This recovery can help one adopt a healthier lifestyle by exercising, eating healthier, and reducing, or stopping the use of unhealthy substances. Exercise can be therapeutic in itself, and getting healthy is important, but I am not sure this is a good recovery plan. Bad health is more of a result from mental illness. Unless they improve mentally; I am not sure one can improve their health. One may have to look at other recovery plans before going to this one.
  5. Social Recovery- This recovery plan involves reconnecting in the social world. Having a mental illness can isolate oneself from your social circle. This plan reconnects you with friends and family, and maybe helps connect you with new friends. Being around others, and getting support from others is very important for one’s recovery. This can also include joining a support group. Just having someone there to listen, and make you laugh is therapeutic.


As I always mention, we all are different, and different recoveries will work for different individuals. It is about what is right for you, or maybe more than one can help you, or all. I think these five ways are all great ways to help one recover. It may be challenging, but the end result will be worth it. Your mental health is very important to living a fulfilling and satisfying life.



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