The goal of an inpatient treatment program is recovery. Recovery allows patients to re-enter their life after rehab, to live, work, learn, and participate in their community. For some, recovery is the ability to live a fulfilling and productive life despite a mental illness. For others, recovery implies the reduction or complete remission of symptoms.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has identified several principles of Recovery:
- Recovery emerges from hope
- Recovery is person-driven = Empowerment
- Recovery occurs via many pathways
- Recovery is holistic
- Recovery is supported by peers and allies
- Recovery is supported through relationships and social networks
- Recovery is culturally-based and influenced
- Recovery is supported by addressing trauma
- Recovery involves individual, family, and community strengths and responsibility
- Recovery is based on respect
Your recovery and discharge planning begins on the day of your admission. A well-designed discharge plan is key to your success after you leave the hospital and your involvement in discharge planning is essential. With a formalized, written plan all members of your treatment team, including your family, referral source, and other health care professionals, can be involved in your recovery and aftercare.
Whether you’re recovering from depression, anxiety, addiction or other mental illness, focus on the following areas as you enter life after rehab:
Focus on support
Create a support network that includes your family, friends, a support group, your sponsor, and therapist to help with your transition into recovery. Avoid people from your old lifestyle, those that may continue to use drugs or alcohol or those that can trigger anxiety or depression.
Focus on your health
A healthy diet, exercise and plenty of rest are keys in maintaining your physical and mental health and should be incorporated into your recovery lifestyle. Along with this you should continue using any medication and attending therapy sessions outlined in your recovery plan, no matter how good you’re feeling. The decision to stop medication or therapy should be made along with your doctor, not alone.
Focus on your work and your interests
Immerse yourself in projects, whether through work or your hobbies, that make you feel empowered, confident, and like a valuable part of a team.
Focus on your limits
Staying busy is certainly a great recovery strategy, but you need to be careful that you don’t take on too much. Feeling overwhelmed can trigger a relapse in stress and anxiety. Instead strive for balance and be aware of when you are reaching your limits.
Focus on small decisions
The few months after leaving treatment is not the time to make any major life decisions. Even if you think these changes are for the positive. Take this time to concentrate on the changes you’re making in your life towards good mental health. You need to get comfortable in this new life before you make any additional changes.