One in every five adults in the U.S. will experience a mental health condition in any given year. If you are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness for the first time, have a diagnosis of a mental illness, or are recovering from a mental illness, you are not alone. Mental illnesses are treatable and help is available. Many people recover from mental illnesses and live full and meaningful lives.
What is recovery?
Recovery means something different for each person who has experienced living with a mental health condition. For some people, recovery means that their symptoms have disappeared, while for others, it means that they are able to effectively manage their symptoms using different strategies, skills, supports, coping mechanisms, or medications.
SAMHSA (The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) defines recovery as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” SAMSHA has determined four guiding principles that support a life in recovery: Health, Home, Community, and Purpose. Read more about SAMHSA’s guiding principles of recovery.
Want to see what recovery looks like in action? Read these inspiring stories of recovery shared by people who have experienced living with a mental illness:
“My hope for the future is that I am of service to as many people as I’m able to reach, to inspire them with my story, and share the many tools I’ve learned over the years to stay mentally healthy.” Read more here
“We all want to heal. And it’s possible.
It’s your story; your recovery. And you can’t recovery wrong.
That’s not a thing.” Read more here
“I know what it’s like to live with and without anxiety. I know you can too.” Read more here
“I am going to make a difference, someway and somehow. I have a fire burning in my soul and it can’t be contained.” Read more here
“I now openly acknowledge that my mental illness is simply a part of who I am. I accept it, but will no longer define myself by it.” Read more here
“Life is like poker, nobody chooses the cards we are dealt but the way we play the hand is our choice.” Read more here
“My hope for the future is to keep on growing, to keep on bettering myself and to never stop, to never give up on myself.” Read more here
“But I believe I’ve been through the worst and am on the other side. I survived. And now I’ve had a taste of what it’s like to live a happy life, and I wouldn’t give that up for anything.” Read more here
“Mental illness will always be a part of me that I have to manage, but it’s my choice if I let it define me.” Read more here
“I used to think I was too messed up to help others. I realize now that my life experiences make me well prepared to understand others and support them through their struggles.” Read more here
“Most importantly, I have come to believe in the phrase “it gets better”. I used to hate when people said that to me, as I am sure a lot of people who struggle do. But I now realize why people say that.” Read more here
“I am a fighter now and my story won’t ever be over.” Read more here
“My mental illness is the very reason why I am about to graduate with a 4 year degree, can now say I live independently without any assistance or services, and I am happy with who I am.” Read more here
“My words of testimony are: Never Lose Hope; Never Quit Caring; and Believe In Yourself.” Read more here
Interested in sharing your own story of recovery?
Visit our Share Your Story page to learn more.