Being in charge of your mental health recovery

First, I would like to make the disclaimer that this does not replace the advise and decisions your doctors make.  And that you should continue to do what they tell you and continue to take your medications as directed, as this is always very important.

In the beginning stages of mental health recovery, you REALLY need to follow what the doctors tell you to do.  Just because you have reached crisis for the first time (or 20th), and have landed in the hospital or the psychiatrist’s office and are not sure why you’re there.  But once you find out why you’re there and are feeling a little bit more like yourself, it’s time to be in charge.

Now, being in charge, does not mean that you make all the final decisions.  It means that you are an important partner in your own recovery decisions, which means that it is time to do some research.  A good first step is doing some research on your specific diagnosis, so you understand what the doctors think is going on with you.  Once you understand what the doctors think is going on with you, you can agree or disagree with the diagnosis, and have an honest conversation about your specific symptoms.  This will ensure that you are being treated for the right thing, as many mental illnesses overlap with each other.

Once you have this conversation, it’s time to figure out your next step.  This can be very daunting, as there are literally a myriad of programs, medications, therapies, etc, that you could go to.  So, having an honest conversation with your therapist, social worker, or doctor, who (probably) knows your case best, will help you decide what is next.

The most important part of being in charge of your mental health recovery is to be committed to your health, yourself, and your options.  Without this commitment, it will be very hard to be in charge of your recovery.

All this said, I wish you the best in your recovery!