Monday, 22 March 2010

Broken Recovery II

In a previous post I wrote:

'Dr. Pat Deegan visualises recovery and the return to mainstream life as crucial moments in an individual's journey through mental illness. It is a return that can often be blighted by low expectations, both by the service user and by his or her professional team. Even carers and family members can contribute to damaging an individual's recovery.'

The reasons why a recovery might be 'broken', protracted, delayed, postponed or put on hold indefinitely, are many.  The return to mainstream is part of a crucial moment in the mental health survivor's journey.  The moment is that space where the mental health survivor moves from being a patient into perceiving his or her ability to be a decision-maker.  For Deegan the decision was to refuse the health profession's signposting her to 'a career in mental health'.  Instead she chose to follow an inner calling to become someone who could learn to develop what she calls 'a valued social role'.  The valued social role was to train to become a doctor and to work from the inspirational thought she phrases as 'I am going to become Dr. Deegan and change the mental health system from within so that no-one ever gets hurt in it again.'

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