Recovery in mental health terms is a process of regaining a purposeful life. Much can be lost through mental illness including; social life, financial stability, cognitive functioning, family relationships, employment, accommodation, self-esteem. All these things contribute to a purposeful life and may take some time to recover, and may also recover to varying degrees. Recovery is not necessarily a total return to a level of functioning as it was before the illness. It is the ability for a person to be able to cope, function, and serve a worthwhile purpose with their life, while possibly still experiencing some symptoms.
Family support for people with a mental illness can be a huge aid to recovery. When I use the term family here, I am including any primary caregiver, immediate or extended family members, close friend or anyone who has the interests of the ill person at heart, and who is providing support. Unfortunately, I found out first hand that the primary caregiver is often the one who the ill person uses as an outlet for their frustration and anger. My key was to not take it personally because I understood that my daughter did not mean the things she was saying, it was the illness talking, she was scared, frustrated and just needed someone to hear her. As she is going through recovery it is clear that she is appreciative that I stand by her, and she is remorseful following any incidents, that are thankfully few and far between now. Without family support, many people with mental illness end up living on the streets, or at the very least have a much harder time accessing services to get regular treatment.