“Recovery” is a term frequently used in mental health nursing practice and in other various disciplines around the world. Yet, understanding of the concept of recovery continues to be confusing and unclear as most disciplines define it to suit their purpose of existence. The perception of “recovery” as a term in mental health care is very different from how other disciplines perceive the concept of recovery. Generally, recovery refers to the process of getting better, recuperation, revival, repossession, reclamation or getting back to a normal state.
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Recovery is defined by Anthony (1993) as a way an individual lives a wonderful, cheerful, and contributing life even with the confinements created by illness. Recovery includes the advancement of new importance and reason in one’s life as one develops past the cataclysmic impacts of mental illness.
One way to make clear the definition of recovery is by way of concept analysis. In this manner, the motivation behind this paper is to extend the comprehension of the idea of recovery. The point of this analysis is to throw more light on the defining attributes of recovery and distinguish precursors (antecedents) that impact the view of recovery and the conceivable results (consequences) of recovery. Walker and Avant’s (1995) is used as a guide to for the purpose of this paper this paper.
Identifying the Uses of the Concept
To identify what recovery is, general and other professional definitions are utilized to further explore the meaning of the concept. The use of the term in nursing and health related settings are presented also.
Definition of Recovery
The Oxford English Dictionary (2010) offers a few definitions for the term recovery. The essential definition given is: “relating to gaining or regaining ownership of something lost or taken away, relating essentially to immaterial things”.
The Merriam -Webster dictionary online defines recovery as the act or process of regaining one’s health after an injury or illness, the demonstration or procedure of coming back to a typical state after a time of trouble, the arrival of something that has been lost, stolen, and so forth. (Anon, 2017)
Within the addiction field, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2012) gave a working meaning of recovery from mental illness as well as substance misuse as ‘a procedure of change through which people enhance their health and wellbeing, carry on with a self-coordinated life, and endeavour to achieve their maximum potential’.
In psychiatry, recovery is often referred to as a personal process not dependent on the reduction of symptoms. It has been characterized as ‘social recuperation; building an existence past illness without necessarily accomplishing the end of manifestations of illness (NHS, 2010). Barber (2012), however contended that recovery could be comprehended as the new medicinal model in psychiatry; after all the approach is not similar to that used as a part of physical conditions in which rehabilitation and patient administration would be recommended.
That phrasing has not brought about a clear understanding of recovery in mental health as it has remained firmly adjusted to the traditional medical model. This is best illustrated by the Collins English Dictionary (2014): the process or act of recovering, especially from shock, sickness or a setback, the repossession of something lost, the restoration to a previous or better condition.
In economics, recovery is defined as a period in a business cycle after a recession, amid which the total national output (gross domestic product) rises is known as financial recovery. An economy will be different post-recovery than pre-recession since an economic structure is characterised by constant change. (Tandfonline.com, 2017)
In law, recovery is defined as the act, process, or fact of recouping, getting back, or vindication of a right or property by judgment or decree. It is also defined as the obtaining of damages or an amount awarded by or collected as a result of a judgment or declaration.
In aviation and automobile industries, recovery is defined as the process or act of taking an aircraft or vehicle that has crashed or broken down to a place for repair. In this instance, the aircraft or automobile may not be useable again.
In maritime, recovery exercises incorporate the accumulation of artefacts and different materials from wrecks or the salvage, study, or excavation of whole shipwrecks for monetary gain or scientific reasons. After such a recovery, objects taken from the seabed are modified from their undersea condition.
In computing, file or information recovery is the replacement or reconstruction of computer records which have been lost. In this case, the objective is to completely restore files to their previous state. (Anon, 2017)
In the American national football league, when a player loses possession of the ball and he or another player from either teams obtains possession of the football, it is deemed as a fumble recovery. The status of the ballgame might be altogether different after this sort of recovery. (Nfl.com, 2017)
Archaeology, politics, music and industrial disciplines also have use of the term recovery and adds to the perplexity encompassing the concept.
As mentioned earlier in this paper, recovery in mental health might be best comprehended and differentiated by the one who experiences it. However, this could introduce challenges for patients or clients as they experience the concept inside a clinical setting where its utilization may lead to a lack of agreement between them and practitioners.
The literature reviewed in psychiatry described recovery as a maintained symptomatic remission (Resnick etâ€‰al., 2005). Consequently, psychiatric symptoms remission predominates as the meaning of an individual’s recovery (Doroshow, 2007), generally named as cure (Makin and Gask, 2012). The objective of psychiatry within its rehabilitation approach/model (Zanarini etâ€‰al. 2010) or recovery introduction was to perform a cure and guarantee a return to normality (Doroshow 2007).
Defining attributes is to list the characteristics that are related with a concept. Any concept analysis will comprise of more than one defining attribute. One needs to however determine which attributes are fitting with the end goal of exploring this concept (Walker & Avant, 1995).
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The main attributes of recovery in mental health as a concept are identified as one’s ability to admit that an undesirable change or illness has taken place which is not healthy, one’s willingness to strife and restore themselves back to what they used to be with the support available, and one’s belief or hope for an improved quality of life after illness.
Aston and Coffey (2012) expressed that the word recovery can suggest a medicinal model reference, therefore, the attributes incorporate showing signs of improvement, a return to one’s former state of mind before illness, and a former state of good health.
Deegan (1995), recommended that recovery was a journey, a distinctive continuum of continuous adjustment (Merryman and Riegel, 2007) yet significantly not an endpoint (Resnick et al. 2004). Key characteristics includes the birth of hope, empowerment, optimism, and life satisfaction.
This gradual developing process (Bradshaw et al. 2007) has of late been portrayed as self-responsibility (Merryman and Riegel, 2007), redefinition of the self (Lloyd and Waghorn, 2007), re-writing component of recovery (Onken et al. 2007) and self-improvement and independence (van Gestel-Timmermans et al. 2012).
Pedro was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder during his adolescent years while he was in college. His excellent academic record and his motivation to make a difference in society enhanced his desire to become a criminal lawyer. He begun to display odd behaviour on campus and that led to him meeting with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
He was eventually withdrawn from college and went back home to live with his family. Pedro started to have difficulties sleeping due to him hearing voices which made him believe that his family had intentions to harm him. He was taken back to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services where he started to engage in therapy and complied with his medication regime. Pedro felt isolated and humiliated during this period because of his inability to attend college or achieve his main goals in life.
Pedro kept on living with his family and continued with treatment. He sometimes got worse and ended up in hospital on two occasions and was treated for acute psychosis. Pedro’s suspiciousness and auditory hallucination symptoms have been in remission for a long time despite the fact that he felt overpowered now and again. He figured out how to perceive and utilize unwinding procedures to subdue these emotions. Despite everything he has a solid enthusiasm for academics and qualified for a government grant to get back into education.
Pedro is happy with the progress he has made despite his mental illness and is looking forward to achieving his new objective of becoming a social worker.
He finished a 45-hour course and qualified as a therapeutic key worker, and is currently employed at the local youth centre. This action gives him a feeling of achievement and life purpose.
Atomo, a 29 year old female who was in a bike accident ten years ago, which resulted to her being paraplegic because of a spinal cord injury. Atomo was studying at the Tokyo school of ballet with high aspirations of becoming an expert ballerina. She spent nearly a year after the accident in rehab. Atomo follows her therapy regime and treatment activities day by day at a local gym. She encountered long scenes of grief and depression over the loss of her aspirations to become a professional ballerina. She gained admission at a nearby university and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, with an emphasis on dance three years after her injury. Atomo currently works for a dance ensemble based in London as a choreographer. She has mobility via an electric wheelchair and an adaptive automobile. She has learned to live with her disability and achieve her adaptive life goals. She is experiencing recovery, although her spinal cord is still injured. Atomo has mobility by means of an electric wheelchair and a specially adapted car. She has figured out how to live with her handicap and accomplish her versatile life objectives. She is going through recovery, in spite of the fact that she still has a damaged spinal cord.
Jenny is 40 and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 20 years ago, is unemployed and lives with her mum. Twelve years ago, she made efforts to attend mental health therapies, but felt none of the therapists understood her situation. She was prescribed medication but refused to keep on with therapy sessions and said the medication made her to feel “not like herself”. Jenny spends most days watching movies and waiting until 21:00 hours, when she retires to sleep. She can’t give significant help to her parents with basic errands at home in light of the fact that the least difficult chores are overpowering. She has no expectation that her life will change and feels disgrace and guilt because of her reliance on her elderly mom and dad.
This type of case may appear similar in meaning to the model case, but it lacks in at least one essential attribute (Walker and Avant, 2005). Rehabilitation and remission are concepts that could be fundamentally the same as recovery in mental health.
An example of this case is Gary who used to be an official in a vast organization. He oversaw personnel, dealt with funds and dissected the securities exchanges. Gary became mentally unwell one day and he believed that ill mental health is a changeless inability and figured that he would never return to what he used to be. He went through a rehabilitation program and started a new job role as a cleaner when he finished the program despite the fact that his therapist guaranteed him fit to come back to his past occupation. Gary saw his ill mental health as an inability and he trusted he could not be what he used to be anymore.
The contrast amongst recovery and rehabilitation is basically that rehabilitation is the tool used by service providers which offers to help an individual recover (Anthony,1993). Accordingly, the system rehabilitates, as the person recovers. Moreover, the result was being underlined in recovery, however with respect to rehabilitation which just alluded to some portion of the procedure towards accomplishing the result. Consequently, the result was not a component of rehabilitation.
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