What is Recovery?

Recovery involves a journey of building up personal interests and abilities. Even though patients’ symptoms may not fully disappear, they should be encouraged to face the challenges posed by the illness, develop their true potential and to engage with work, study and spiritual life.

Recovery can be simultaneously interpreted as reduction of symptoms. Having been on medication for few days to few weeks, most patients display fewer delusional beliefs and hallucinations, though this varies from person to person. Some patients may be influenced by the symptoms for a longer duration, and some symptoms that had resolved may even recur. The above situations may undermine their confidence in recovery, make them worried, disappointed and may even despair. Patients should actively reflect their conditions to medical workers, as they will advise suitable treatments to the patients. In spite of a lengthy process, most patients with psychosis will achieve remission. In general, most patients on medication for one to two years will show less negative symptoms and are able to resume past activities and social life. Some patients are also able to return to work or school. However, it is possible that some patients remain influenced by residual symptoms, so that they have difficulty in taking care of themselves, a lack of interest and motivation in interacting with surrounding people and things, have decreased speech, insomnia or hypersomnia, and have mood problems, etc. Patients may feel uneasy to reacquiring habits in life. In this case, apart from medications, we should also encourage patients to participate activities and skill training in the community to assist them to learn through this recovery process, and gradually adapt to and face challenges.