[Conversation starter] Relapse is a real and much dreaded possibility for people in recovery. Is it preventable and how should we help ourselves and others when relapse happens?
I think it's helpful to see a mental health condition as a chronic condition not unlike diabetes. I personally believe an absolute cure does not exist but the condition can be well-managed. In other words, if we don't take the necessary steps to take care of ourselves, we will invariable relapse. It's not a matter of if, but when.
Preventing that involves several things. If medication works, then it must be taken regularly and consistently, even if things appear to get better. That's not to say one must be on medication for life. If an individual chooses to go medication-free, or if medication doesn't work, then self-care must be prioritised. This includes understanding one's triggers and environmental circumstances which could lead to a relapse. It's hard to generalise across all mental health conditions, but I've found the more you understand of your condition, the more you accept it as part of who you are, the more you'll know what to do to prevent a relapse, and the greater the confidence you'll have to actually do these things. Sadly, we often know what we should do but we don't have the guts to stand up for ourselves.