What do we mean by recovery?

Sometimes it seems as if there are as many definitions of recovery as there are people in recovery.


Recovery is the process of getting over, getting better, finding new ways of doing things, making a new life for yourself. If you have a simple illness that has a cure or is cured with time, such as a common cold, then it seems fair to view recovery as a destination.


If you have a more complex disorder, then you will almost certainly do better in the long term to view your recovery as a journey or a re-building process. Alcoholics Anonymous realised this many years ago and most alcoholics who have stopped drinking will see themselves as 'in-recovery', in that they can never be 100% safe should they drink again.


The bipolar disorder diagnosis is not so different in that no matter how many years we are free of damaging mood swings we cannot say for certain that some events in the future will not trigger a new crisis.


It is equally true though that an understanding of recovery concepts and a willingness to act according to these will continue to reduce the risk of relapse.



Bipolar recovery / recovering from mood disorder

• Mental health recovery means something different for every person we meet

• For many the first step is recognising that you have something to recover from

• For most getting into recovery also means staying 'in recovery'

• I have found that with mood disorder the initial recovery phase - getting back on your feet, is quite different from the later 'in-recovery' time when it is more about building resilience by learning from mentors and peers


How well do people recover from bipolar?

• Increasingly people who have been through the diagnosis process, made lifestyle changes and are thriving in new lives beyond the diagnosis are starting to talk about what tehy did to get well.

• Some say that they can look back on highs and lows and now are now benefiting from what they had to learn.

• Recovery depends on many things, one of which is education. Workshops are available for recovering bipolar people, family members and staff who work with bipolar people.


Some notes:

> Bipolar Disorder is also known as Manic Depression.

> Bipolar is sometimes written as bi-polar, Bi-Polar, BP or MD

> The term bipolar spectrum is increasingly being used to describe people experiencing mood swings (up and down) but not having been diagnosed.

> hypomanic = a little below manic
> Content of this web site may be used in conjunction with medical advice of your own doctor or other health care professionals. It must not be used instead of medical advice of your own doctor or other health care professionals.