“I’m a recovering [fill in the blank].” The word “recovery” is so much in the press these days. Long associated with the addictions movement, recovery is used today to describe almost any form of personal progress from challenging circumstances.
The mental health movement has adopted the term to describe the process of evolving or redefining one’s life and self after the onset of a serious mental illness. In the course of a literature search PsychOdyssey uncovered a very helpful article from 2001 by Nora Jacobson and Dianne Greenley that gives a quick and complete conceptualization of recovery. Recovery refers to both internal and external conditions. Internal conditions include hope, healing, empowerment, and connection. External conditions include human rights, healing culture, and recovery-oriented services.
Families with loved ones who have psychiatric disabilities must know, understand, and live the concept of recovery. Jacobson and Greenley’s article is a good place to start. To see the article, click here.