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People in recovery and those who love them are often terrified of relapse. Once we truly grasp the nature of mental health and addiction disorders fear can diminished. Let me explain.
● RELAPSE IS COMMON - Although not inevitable. Many people relapse one or more times before achieving a stable recovery. The effort to recover is normally life long. Many people go back into treatment multiple times. The support team should continue to walk alongside if a relapse occurs.
● PEOPLE TEND TO RECOVERY IN COMMUNITY - And relapse in isolation. Anticipating high-risk situations is important. Frequent urges to stray from the plan are common such as skipping medications, using alcohol, skipping a support meeting or Dr.s appointment. A support team is crucial to recovery.
● RELAPSE CAN HAPPEN IN THE GOOD TIMES TOO - Many feel better and are well on their way to a stable recovery when things take a turn. It can happen that they are feeling so much better, they think they do not need meetings, medications, sleep, exercise, balanced diet…. all the things that helped them rebuild. People may not remember the problems caused by not sticking to a wellness plan and can relapse very quickly.
● IF RELAPSE HAPPENS - Turning to professionals is the best course of action. Particularly those who specialize in mental health disorders. A psychiatrist, therapist, support groups, are all the first line of defense when a relapse occurs. These are assets during times of decompensation and relapse.
● LEARNING FROM RELAPSE - Experts have found relapse can serve as important lessons and opportunities to identify triggers in one’s environment. Mine fields and traps that are to be avoided in the future.
● RELAPSE IN NOT A FAILURE - IT’S LEARNING.
Until next time,