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Stages of Recovery from a Mental Health Condition

recoveryBeing diagnosed with a mental health condition can be overwhelming. This is normal. In the early stages, your sense of who you are may be overshadowed by the experience of symptoms and the diagnosis. However, as you begin to move toward healing and rebuilding a full life again, you will start to recover your sense of yourself as a unique, valuable person and your mental health condition will take a back seat.
 
Below is a list of the common emotional responses that many experience with a mental health condition and the needs that are often linked with these emotions. Eventually, as you learn to live with your mental health condition and receive the services and supports you need to recover, you may identify additional needs that are critical to your recovery.

Stage 1: Dealing with the Crisis

Emotions   Needs
Overwhelmed
Hoping against hope
Shock
Confusion
Fear
Denial
Confined
Shaky
Anxious
Exhausted
  Empathy
Prognosis
Help finding resources
Sleep
Effective services and supports
Reassurance
Positive support
Understanding
Patience from others and self
Hope

Stage 2: Learning to Cope

Emotions   Needs
Tentative
Anxious
Illness takes a lot of mind room
Time to get going
Restlessness (want to move and can’t)
Anger/Frustration
Grief
Self-Doubt
Recognition
  Encouragement
Hope
Education and information
Letting go
Effective services and supports
Being nice to self
Vent feelings
Skill training
Reassurance

Stage 3: Looking Ahead and Moving Into Advocacy

Emotions   Needs
Consistent, more solid
Looking, planning for the future
Illness takes less focus, less thinking time
Acceptance, confidence
Anger at injustice
Understanding
  Restoring balance in life
Effective services and supports
A dream to strive for
Acceptance and appreciation
Meaningful activities
Activism
 

Adapted from NAMI Utah Progression 2009.

 

Comments

  • loverofdogs Jan 23rd

    This is great. I definitely recognize some of these stages from my own experience. I hope everyone else takes a look at this too.