Morning Question # 4 – Is there a mental illness you can’t recover from?


By David Joel Miller.

That depends on what you mean by recover.

People, in my opinion, can and do recover from a wide range of mental illnesses and substance use disorder problems. Recovery means that you get your hope back and you get your life back. It does not mean that you are cured or can cease your vigilance when it comes to self-care.

Somebody with type-two diabetes can lose some weight; get their blood sugar under control. They may even be able to live without medication. But does that mean they can or should begin to overeat or neglect their health again?

Someone with a serious mental illness may get their condition under control. They may be able to have happy relationships and friends. They get their hope and happiness back. Many people with mental illness are able to work, volunteer or do productive activities again.

Millions of people have “recovered” from alcoholism, by which they mean they are no longer in a hopeless state of mind or body.”

To me, recovery is a process, not a destination. We can all move from unwell to less well to more well. But recovery only lasts when you continue to do the work to maintain it.

So – NO – I have not seen a mental or emotional illness from which you can’t recover if you are willing to do the work of recovery. Some recovery roads are just longer and more difficult than others.

When a question or comment comes in or someone uses a search term that needs a short answer but not a post. Time permitting; I post answers, like this one to those questions in the early morning.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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One thought on “Morning Question # 4 – Is there a mental illness you can’t recover from?

  1. Pingback: What are Morning Questions? | counselorssoapbox

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