11 Tips to Help Someone Stay Strong and How to Avoid a Relapse in Recovery From a Mental Health Disorder
- Develop new tools to help you manage stress. Stress is a common trigger for almost any mental health disorder. The more stress you have in your life, the more likely you will be tempted to resort to old thought patterns and behaviors. Try them out to determine the methods that you enjoy most and practice them on a regular basis.
2. Avoid old habits and patterns. You will need to make a conscious effort to stay away from some of the issues, situations, or triggers that put you at risk. Avoid the temptation to avoid change. The ‘new and improved you’ will have a difficult time succeeding if you keep resorting to what you did in the past. Change is hard.
3. Get help. Seek help immediately for any serious mental health issues that suddenly crop up. If you can address these unresolved issues and work through them, your risk of relapse will be much lower.
4. Watch Out for Substance Abuse. It’s common for young people that struggle with mental health disorders to self-medicate. Even though alcohol is a depressant, it’s often used to numb the side effects or symptoms of depression.
5. Stick to Your Treatment Plan. After you’ve completed a treatment program, it’s crucial that you follow the plan you developed with your therapists and doctors. If you are supposed to attend regular therapy sessions, don’t skip appointments. If medications are involved in your treatment routine, follow the orders for the prescription.
6. Have a Backup Plan. If you experience a setback, make sure you have a plan in place. Mistakes happen. Knowing what you might do ahead of time can be very effective when you feel you are being tested by tough times. The worst thing you can do is give up.
7. Find healthy new ways to have fun. The old behavior patterns may have taken a lot of time and energy. Replace them with activities that add joy to your life. Consider trying a new hobby or sport. Having a new interest can make you a lot less vulnerable to relapse.
8. Educate yourself. Read books or network with others that are actively engaged in strengthening their recovery. Find out what worked for other people. The more you learn, the more coping skills you’ll have for sustaining your recovery.
9. Build a strong support system. The more people someone has in their life that want to lift them up, the odds of them falling down decrease. Deepen your ties to the ones you trust. Special friends, family members, classmates, co-workers, or therapists can be great resources when you need them the most.
10. Remember your goals. Don’t lose sight of the big picture. Continue to strive for your vision of the way you want your life to be. Along the way, set smaller attainable goals, too. This can help keep you focused and on track.
11. Know that this too will pass. If you experience a relapse, try to learn from it. It’s important to remember that relapse episodes are often a normal and natural part of recovery. If you can benefit from these experiences, you can become even stronger and more resilient.
Love, Ms Bipolar x
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