Has your doctor or therapist suggested that you get admitted into one of our mental health inpatient treatment centers? If you have already received treatment before at inpatient mental health centers, you might quickly view this suggestion as a sign of failure. Many people who experience a relapse of mental health symptoms immediately think “Oh, no! What did I do wrong?” Truth is, going through relapse can be unsettling, but it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. In fact, there is a brighter side to relapse…
Consider this. When a person with a chronic disease such as diabetes experiences relapse it means they need to modify some lifestyle factors like diet or medication to improve. It’s that simple. No one beats themselves up about relapsing with a medical condition, but mental health patients are much more likely to view relapse as a sign of defeat.
Relapse is an opportunity to regroup and recharge in order to improve your health in the future. It’s a chance to temporarily be selfish about your own health and well-being, leaving family, friends, and work behind to attend to your mental and emotional stability. Mental health inpatient treatment centers are designed to help patients with acute symptoms re-evaluate their treatment plans, change or increase medications, become more compliant with treatments, get informed about their conditions, develop aftercare plans, and build relationships with other patients and staff who understand your unique situation.
If you relapse and end back up in the hospital due to complications with bipolar disorder or depression, you haven’t failed. You have been granted the chance to take a step back, look at your life and see what you have been doing that is worsening your situation and what you could be doing more of to improve your situation. Relapse means that you, your support system, and/or your mental health care providers are monitoring your symptoms well enough to recognize when you’re not doing well in order to get you back on track.
Here’s what you can do to get yourself back on track after a psychiatric relapse.
- Comply with your medication regimen as directed by your doctor. Never stop taking medications unless supervised by your doctor, even when you start to feel better.
- Learn the triggers that contribute to your symptoms worsening. Work with your therapist to develop coping skills to better handle these situations.
- Build a strong support system of family, friends, support groups members, and providers who offer encouragement and accountability.
- Lead a healthy lifestyle. Eat nutritious food, exercise, and drink plenty of water. Get enough sleep. Engage in activities that help you fight stress.
All of these tips will help you bounce back after relapse. View this situation as a learning experience rather than a failure and you will find yourself steadily improving over time.
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