The Road to Recovery
Sometimes people experiencing psychotic episodes may be reluctant to seek treatment. They might fear the stigma of having a mental illness, or may be concerned about the treatments themselves. Some people believe that treatment may not help them, or that their symptoms will go away without help, but recovery can be very difficult without treatment and having the help of mental health professionals can greatly improve your recovery experience.
Recovery is most often measured in terms of symptom reduction and quality of life. One of the primary goals of treatment is to reduce symptoms. Another is to assist with improving quality of life in other ways that are meaningful to the person being treated. This helps people living with psychosis to manage their episodes and maintain their everyday lives.
It can be difficult to say when someone is “fully” recovered from an episode. Recovery is more of a process than a specific end point, and deciding that someone has recovered is often a consensus between the individual, their health care providers, and their family members. Each person who has experienced psychosis will define recovery in their own way.
Some people recover quickly from an episode of psychosis. They are able to return to their lives and responsibilities, and may need little ongoing support. Others need more time to respond to treatment, or are only able to return to their normal lives gradually, and may benefit from longer ongoing support. Some people may experience a difficult period of months or even years before they consider themselves recovered. Typically, recovery from a first episode of psychosis will take a number of months, and may be prolonged by the return of psychotic symptoms. Once the psychosis has responded to treatment, problems such as depression, anxiety, decreased self-esteem, and social difficulty may need to be dealt with in recovery as well. The recovery process is tailored to suit the needs of the individual. Families also need support and education and this is often a aprt of the care provided.