Rebounding from relapse is a process and it’s easy for this process to turn negative. However, here are three things that will help you relapse in a healthy way.
The first thing to remember is to not beat yourself up for relapsing. They don’t call the process of mental illness an acute phase and a remissive phase for nothing. Psychiatrists and mental health practitioners know that this process is cyclical. It’s best that those with mental illness understand this process as well. Remissive and acute phases are a part of the illness. Finding out that you will go through each high and low and return to remission may help you see that you are not alone and that practitioners understand your highs and lows as part of a greater mental health process.
The second thing is to reconnect with your support network. If you don’t have a support network, create one by connecting with a therapist, psychiatrist and/or family and social network. If you already have one, reach out to those who have given you support over the years, because research and studies have shown that social support is the biggest determinant of healthy recovery. It’s easy in the process of an acute phase to not reach out or turn away from help but remember how important those in your social network are. They provide unending support and help in the process of getting over acute phases as well as in remission. Don’t forget that remissive phases require support as well.
The third thing to do is create outlets that help you during times of stress. These outlets could be exercise, therapy, music, creative endeavors, and an outlet of your choosing. Outlets do not have to be cookie cutter outlets I have suggested, but ones you make for yourself that help. Outlets are ones that control stress and provide avenues to use your energy towards destressing from the things in your life. It’s easy to get caught up in the highs and lows of both the mental illness and life in general but having something that takes your mind off of it or conversely, helps you deal with those highs and lows in a healthy way by venting frustration or turning frustration into healthy energy through exercise. Whatever you determine is best for you is a healthy outlet that can provide you the means to stave off relapses.
Remember, relapse does not mean that you relapse forever and relapse does not mean that you cannot control the illness. Relapse is a step in the recovery process. How you deal with relapse and return to recovery shows you that you have the means and ability to continue to live with a mental illness in a healthy way.