The Positive Psychiatry Movement

I call the movement I wanted to create and wrote about two years ago at HealthCentral The Positive Psychiatry Movement because it advances recovery for everyone regardless of whether a person is in remission.

It started to click when I read on the Resources to Recover website that 25 percent of individuals recover. Everyone else is “in recovery.”

Yet I always blurred this line because it’s my contention that recovery is possible. The term “recovered” has apparently been reserved by experts for individuals who don’t have symptoms.

OK then: this is the distinction that experts make yet I don’t think it’s helpful on the face of it to perpetuate this disconnect. A person who experiences symptoms shouldn’t be discouraged from taking action to create for themselves their own version of “a full and robust life.”

“Remission” is indeed the clinical term for having no symptoms. I’ve long been a fan of getting to remission quickly so that a person has an easier time of it living their life in recovery.

I might have recovered yet I prefer the idea of living “in recovery.” There’s no shame living in recovery, regardless of whether or not you have symptoms.

I’m not a fan of the recovery bashers who negate living in recovery as a valid endpoint.

There’s no endpoint: that’s the secret. Living in recovery doesn’t indicate there’s an endpoint to what a person can do. I went back to school for a library degree 10 years after I was diagnosed. I’m 50 now, and I have a ton of new goals I want to achieve too.

Recovery involves acting resilient. It’s aided when you have the courage to dare achieve the kind of life and career that is salient to your self-identity.

Who are you? Why try to fit yourself into a round hole if you’re a square peg?

I might just be “an independent spirit in chic fashion.”

What image for yourself resonates with you? Celebrate who you are. That’s the first step in having a better recovery.

In the next blog entry I’ll talk about family support because that made all the difference in my own recovery.

 

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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