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Recovery is about getting through experiences of psychosis and getting on with your life. If you do have contact with EIP or any mental health service in the future, you will probably hear people talk about ‘recovery’. Recovery is a word which means different things to different people. In the past, recovery used to mean a complete end to all signs of a mental health problem, so that, for example, you no longer feel down or anxious or have any strange or unusual experiences.

More recently though, people who use mental health services have started to talk about recovery in a different way. Many people will find that through support and intervention, their upsetting experiences go away all together. However, sometimes, for some people, their experiences don’t stop completely, or they may stop and then come back for a while in the future. If your experiences do continue, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get better, carry on with your life and do the things you want to do. You can get support so that you can get on and do the things you want to in life, even if you are still experiencing some mental health symptoms or other unusual experiences.

Recovery is about how you manage to live your life during and after mental health problems or psychosis. It is about going through stages where you learn more about yourself and understand your experiences. It is about thinking about your goals and what you might like to do now and in the future. It is about you growing as a person and discovering new things about yourself. Mental health services can support you in that.

Medication, talking therapies and other support from mental health professionals may help but lots of other things can be important to recovery too. Some people find that spending time with friends and family members is helpful. Activities can be important, whether these are things you used to enjoy or new interests. Often sport, art and music can be fun and relaxing. Some people find things like meditation or more spiritual or religious activities helpful. Some people find meeting and talking with people who have had similar experiences can really help. Other people find that volunteering or starting a new job or educational course can give them something to focus on.

Many people continue with their lives as they were before any mental health problems started. Others might want to make changes and don’t want things to go back to how they were before. But even if things have to be different, recovery means that they can be just as good or better than before.

Recovery is an individual, gradual, sometimes slow process. There may be slip-ups and difficulties along the way. Different people may find different things helpful and unhelpful in this process. Family and friends are often a very important part of recovery but mental health services can help you to find the things that will help you to recover too.

Click here to read about different people's recovery

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Access to booklets ‘Mental Health and Help-seeking’, ‘Early Intervention in Psychosis’, ‘Treatment Choices’ ‘Making the most out of Hospital’ and Friends and Families.


The EYE Project is a research project supported by:

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Swandean, Arundel Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3EP