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Recovery Vs Remission, is there a difference?

Butterfly

Sim Addict
Safety & Support
SF Author
SF Supporter
#1
So a while back I got into an arguement (shock) on a mental health group on facebook. I wrote a positive post saying that I was on the road to recovery, but I got my head bitten off because apparently you can never recover from mental illness. So I said instead that I'm in remission, which was also wrong.

My take on it is that, at the time, I was recovering from extreme psychotic depression that I'd been in hospital in a combined 10 months. I never said that I was recovered. A couple of months on from that, I'd say that I'm in remission, because I know my illness will never go away but I'm now stable and have been for a while.

What do you guys think?
 

Sunspots

Pffffeckn amazin
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#2
apparently you can never recover from mental illness.
What a load of bollocks. It's perfectly possible to recover from mental illness. Not for everyone, but for some.

It's funny, I'm in a breast cancer support group and I've noticed that some people love to be defined by their diagnosis. Of course for many women it is a lifelong illness for however long they have but even women who have finished treatment and now have no evidence of disease cling onto their diagnosis like a badge of honour (god help me, I will probably be shot down in flames for saying that). Oncologists will no longer use the term "cured" as there is always the possibility of it returning even after 20 years. But in my head, six years down the line, I like to think of myself as cured. Sure, it might come back one day, and if it does I'll deal with it, but I'm not going to live my life thinking of myself as a cancer patient.

I think it's the same with mental illness but even more so. I doubt there's many people who never have a brush with it. It just depends on the type and the severity. Situational depression can be truly awful but if the situation can be resolved or at least made better there's a good chance of recovery. Bipolar on the other hand will probably always need to be carefully monitored but that's not to say you can't spend years feeling fine. A person might be diagnosed with a personality disorder but in the future would no longer fit the criteria for that. People change over time and so can their mental health.

I've spent so many years feeling suicidal before eventually hitting rock bottom. But now, on the right meds and after a lot of fantastic therapy I'm feeling stronger than I can ever remember feeling. Am I cured? I probably shouldn't say so as there's probably a decent chance it might come back at some point. But right now I'm good and if it comes back I'll deal with it.

I like your term of remission, it seems to fit really well. Recovery to me is an ongoing thing - we'll probably be recovering for the rest of our lives as we naturally change and grow. I'm not sure recovery ever has an end point as we will continually learn about ourselves. But remission sounds right. Currently no evidence of disease.
 

MisterBGone

Well-Known Member
#3
I think in your terms, and definitions, as well as the brackets or / of which you framed the statement in question, you were perfectly accurate or correct in your assessment. Even if they disagreed over some technical phrases, which, when taken out of context, or applied in another matter to another situation (mental illness is one heckuva big umbrella, when taken as a whole...) // and so, yes - based on how you meant to say it—that is, the meaning of what you said, or how you’d intended for it to be interpreted, it is or was correct. That someone or someone(s) got their little tussles in a feather (or however you say it...) is more a commentary on the power of language, and how just one simple misplaced word, or word that represents a different thing, or meaning—an interpretation to them (or someone), can undercut everything you’ve just said. That said, yes, I think you’ve “recovered,” from the worst of it — that which kept you inpatient—for so long. And the analogy , or comparison sunspots made with breast cancer is a very good one. Really drives home, or emphasizes / reinforces the point... & id had no idea of the hanging onto the identity after the fact. But i suppose that psychologically, it’s not that far-fetched, really... I forgot the last thing I wanted to say, but I feel or fear; I’ve said enough! ;) you get, the reality..:D oh yes! I’d tend to thin k of it more as a “continuum.” Boom shack-a-lack-a! :^)
 
#5
My impression is that people on facebook can get quite nasty. Unless you feel like you're getting some valuable support there, it might be better just to stay away from it.

As long as the way you think about the status of your mental health doesn't endanger you in some way, then imho, it's ok to call it whatever you want.

The principle danger I can see is that sometimes people say to themselves that they don't need medication anymore because they feel better, and so they go off medication and it creates a disaster. If you only make changes in your medication with the advice of the prescriber, that shouldn't be a problem
 

Dark111

The Hated One
SF Supporter
#6
So a while back I got into an arguement (shock) on a mental health group on facebook. I wrote a positive post saying that I was on the road to recovery, but I got my head bitten off because apparently you can never recover from mental illness. So I said instead that I'm in remission, which was also wrong.

My take on it is that, at the time, I was recovering from extreme psychotic depression that I'd been in hospital in a combined 10 months. I never said that I was recovered. A couple of months on from that, I'd say that I'm in remission, because I know my illness will never go away but I'm now stable and have been for a while.

What do you guys think?
Don't mind those Facebook clowns, they're just being arrogant know-it-all d*cks. You can be functioning and living life just fine when symptoms of mental illness can flare up, sometimes due to obvious triggers, sometimes not so obvious, where you find it difficult to function again. This is commonly referred to as an episode or relapse. Receiving the proper care and treatment doesn't "cure" the mental illness outright but can help you recover from THAT PARTICULAR EPISODE and get you back on your feet again. Whoever gave you that sanctimonious drivel, ask to see their medical licence or else keep their mouth shut.
 

MichaelKay

Well-Known Member
#7
It's a hard thing to give a straight answer to.

Ofcourse some do get better and their illness is no longer bothering them. But some don't. And I understand why some feel a need to say it doesn't go away. Because if it does, it's sort of implied people can just get better and when they don't it's somehow their own fault.

It's something I struggle with a lot. The constant "it can get better/ it never gets better" problem. And when is it okay to say; "I'm mentally ill and that's what I am. It doesn't go away" ??? When can I allow myself to just accept that and stop pretending it can get better and I'm just not trying hard enough when it doesn't go away? I understand what you're saying. But I can also sympathise with those weird people who says it never goes away. I can't think my way out of a schizo-spectrum diagnosis. I have good and bad periods but it's always there. And I know it bothers people that I just don't get better and it goes away.
 
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