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What can I expect during recovery from depression?

In many places around the world, mostly developed nations, there has been increasing emphasis on recovery and active illness management for people with mental disorders, including depression. Born out of substance abuse and addiction programs, the recovery model emphasizes the following:

  • Finding hope
  • Personal empowerment in your own treatment and wellness
  • Expanding your knowledge about your illness and its treatments
  • Establishing support networks and seeking inclusion
  • Developing and refining coping strategies;
  • Creating a secure home base;
  • Defining a sense of meaning for your life.

Some have pointed to two different models of recovery, one developed by practitioners, the other by people with depression/mental health consumers. Both, however, involve these three points:

  • Each person’s path to recovery is unique.
  • Recovery is a process, not an end point
  • Recovery is an active process, in which the individual takes responsibility for the outcome, with success depending primarily on collaboration with helpful friends, family, the community and professional supports.

There are hundreds of recovery-based resources across the world. In the United States, one such program is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, which recommends five actions for recovery:

  • Believe in yourself and your recovery.
  • Take personal responsibility.
  • Educate yourself.
  • Stand up for yourself.
  • Learn how to both receive and give support.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.