Finding Hope in Recovery

In our latest blog, a service user discusses going though psychosis, and finding hope in recovery.

There’s a saying that sometimes when you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted, and this is how I aim to feel about my recovery.

Last year I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act during a psychotic episode and spent a month in the acute ward of a mental health hospital.

My treatment was to be placed on antipsychotics, a medication which helps manage the symptoms of psychosis.

Recovery is an uphill struggle

As with any mental health issue, recovery is an uphill struggle.

At first I thought that psychosis was the hardest hurdle, but it turns out that recovery has its own challenges too. Although the medication helps with the positive symptoms of psychosis, such as delusions and hallucinations, I still struggle with the negative symptoms, such as issues with memory and concentration.

If I’m honest then there are times since my psychotic episode where i’ve really struggled to accept my condition and to make sense of the toll it has taken on me. It can be hugely difficult to accept that you’ve had a psychotic episode, but it’s important to remain hopeful and optimistic as things do typically improve with effective treatment.

Finding hope in dark times.

There are some good things that have come from this experience. I’m much more conscious of my health now. I eat more healthily (even if it’s mostly to battle the weight gain caused by antipsychotics!), I go to the gym (or try to, at least), I have a sleep routine and I drink less.

On the days I’m feeling optimistic, I try to see all this as the wake up call I needed to kick-start better habits for both my mental and physical health.

It’s cliched to say, but going through this difficult time has helped me understand what’s important in life. I’m so grateful to the friends and family who stuck by me and it really made me realise how much they care and how important they are to me. One of my friends visited me everyday in hospital and it really brings home the reminder how much people care. I’m grateful too to the health professionals who have been part of my recovery.

Although this has been a hugely difficult period of my life, in a way it’s helped me re-calibrate to focus on what’s important: my mental and physical health, and friends and family.

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