How Crises Affect Mental Health Recovery

How Crises Affect Mental Health RecoveryMental health recovery is a fragile process. Chemical imbalances in the brain can cause extreme reactions or an inability to handle stress or anxiety. Recovery requires patient, disciplined diagnoses of any and all co-occurring psychological disorders. The entire process can be undermined by any number of personal crises if the patient hasn’t learned to handle these challenges well.

Crises That Can Challenge Mental Health Recovery

A wide range of circumstances can present significant challenges someone recovering from a mental health problem. A few of the most common obstacles to recovery include the following situations:

  • Financial distress
  • Relationship problems
  • Undiagnosed and untreated co-occurring disorders
  • Challenges at work
  • Struggles with school
  • Substance abuse relapse
  • Serious chemical changes in the brain
  • Physiological changes such as menopause, PMS, puberty or pregnancy

For some people even the smallest events can become life-threatening crises.

How to Protect Mental Health Recovery during a Crisis

The most effective mental health recovery programs will prepare each patient for future crises. Coping techniques developed during treatment can greatly improve a patient’s lasting recovery despite their eventual exposure to crises. A few examples of the coping techniques taught to those in treatment include the following:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps people think about their circumstances and actions differently
  • Support group meetings allow fellow patients to support your recovery
  • Have regular meetings with friends who hold you accountable to your recovery
  • Learning to lean on friends and loved ones who can carry you through hard times
  • Regular contact with your doctors
  • Journaling can help provide perspective
  • Healthy relaxation techniques can provide much needed peace in the midst of crises
  • Ongoing and regular talk therapy can be extremely helpful

Help During a Crisis

It is important for anyone recovering from a mental health disorder to plan a survival plan for crises. It is often too late to handle your problems if you wait for a crisis to think about your recovery. The following are a few examples of crisis coping plans that may be helpful:

  • Create a call list of people who know your condition and will come to your aid immediately
  • Seek help as soon as you feel yourself slipping emotionally
  • When crises hit surround yourself with people you love and trust
  • Make sure you are eating right, exercising, getting enough rest and taking any prescribed medications exactly as prescribed
  • Keep books, tapes or videos on hand to remind you of the principles you learned during recovery
  • Call our toll-free helpline any time of day or night

If your mental health recovery program has not fully prepared you for crises, you may benefit from additional treatment. Our helpline is toll free, and our recovery experts are ready 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have. We can connect you with the best recovery resources available for your unique needs. There is no shame in seeking help, only in denying it when offered. We’re ready to help as soon as you call.

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