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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : features : features September 29, 2014

4/6/2013 9:59:00 PM
Treatment of mental illness can be lifelong
West Yavapai Guidance Clinic

It is common to hear the term "recovery" related to people who were addicted to drugs or alcohol. You probably have even heard the term or used it yourself when referring to a loved one who has had that struggle. He is in recovery. She is part of the recovery community. He is living at a recovery home.

Well, the term recovery is also used in the context of mental illness. The best descriptor of this concept comes from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, www.nami.org, and is as follows:

As people become familiar with their illness, they recognize their own unique patterns of behavior. If individuals recognize the signs and seek effective and timely care, they can often prevent relapses. However, because mental illnesses have no cure, treatment must be continuous.

Individuals who live with a mental illness also benefit tremendously from taking responsibility for their own recovery. Once the illness is adequately managed, one must monitor potential side effects.

The notion of recovery involves a variety of perspectives. Recovery is a holistic process that includes traditional elements of mental health and aspects that extend beyond medication. Recovery from serious mental illness also includes attaining, and maintaining, physical health as another cornerstone of wellness.

Every day at West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, hundreds of people are working on their recovery from mental illness. They are attending groups that help them develop skills to manage moods. They are attending yoga or art groups that approach wellness from a holistic viewpoint. They are meeting with nurses and doctors to manage medications that are effective and much improved from those of the last century. They are working with their job coach on how to make a good first impression. Recovery is possible, and it is not a vague concept living on the Internet. It is on display every day, in places like Prescott and Prescott Valley, and communities beyond.

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