Understanding Mental Illness: Recognizing and Lessening Relapses

Reviewed Aug 30, 2016

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Summary

Signs of relapse:

  • Difficulty in carrying out everyday activities
  • Behaviors that are similar to previous relapses
  • Extreme changes in emotions that are not caused by outside events

People with mental illness are stressed by the same kind of life events as everyone else. But the way they react to it can be different. Stress can bring on a relapse of their illness. Not eating right, lack of sleep, or worries about day-to-day problems can cause stress.

While you can’t make a person’s life stress free, you can lessen the effects of stress. Make sure your family member has lots of ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Help her eat healthy, balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Encourage a regular routine and help her stay away from drugs and alcohol. Know what the early signs of a relapse look like. Acting early can help speed recovery.

Warning signs of a relapse:

  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns, personality changes
  • Problems with doing everyday activities
  • Changes in how your family member talks with others
  • Acting in a way that is like other relapses your family member has had
  • Extreme changes in feelings that are not caused by outside events

If you suspect your family member is having a relapse, you should:

  • Tell his doctor or therapist right away. Ask for an evaluation or increase in his meds.
  • Try to lessen stress that may be coming from outside sources.
  • Encourage her to stay involved in any therapy or peer programs.
  • Try to keep the home environment as calm, secure, and stable as possible.
  • Try to talk to your relative about your concerns. Talk with him about things he can do to keep the relapse from getting even worse.

Be prepared:

  • Have a crisis plan ready for yourself.
  • Keep emergency phone numbers (doctor, therapist, police, hospital, etc.) in a convenient place.  Load these numbers in your cell or smart phone.
  • Know your limits and how you will react if those limits are broken. Make sure your relative knows your limits and what will happen if your limits are broken. 
By Haline Grublak, Vice President of Member and Family Affairs, Beacon Health Options
Reviewed by Trenda Hedges, CRSS, Recovery Team Manager and Julie Tull, CRSS, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Signs of relapse:

  • Difficulty in carrying out everyday activities
  • Behaviors that are similar to previous relapses
  • Extreme changes in emotions that are not caused by outside events

People with mental illness are stressed by the same kind of life events as everyone else. But the way they react to it can be different. Stress can bring on a relapse of their illness. Not eating right, lack of sleep, or worries about day-to-day problems can cause stress.

While you can’t make a person’s life stress free, you can lessen the effects of stress. Make sure your family member has lots of ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Help her eat healthy, balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Encourage a regular routine and help her stay away from drugs and alcohol. Know what the early signs of a relapse look like. Acting early can help speed recovery.

Warning signs of a relapse:

  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns, personality changes
  • Problems with doing everyday activities
  • Changes in how your family member talks with others
  • Acting in a way that is like other relapses your family member has had
  • Extreme changes in feelings that are not caused by outside events

If you suspect your family member is having a relapse, you should:

  • Tell his doctor or therapist right away. Ask for an evaluation or increase in his meds.
  • Try to lessen stress that may be coming from outside sources.
  • Encourage her to stay involved in any therapy or peer programs.
  • Try to keep the home environment as calm, secure, and stable as possible.
  • Try to talk to your relative about your concerns. Talk with him about things he can do to keep the relapse from getting even worse.

Be prepared:

  • Have a crisis plan ready for yourself.
  • Keep emergency phone numbers (doctor, therapist, police, hospital, etc.) in a convenient place.  Load these numbers in your cell or smart phone.
  • Know your limits and how you will react if those limits are broken. Make sure your relative knows your limits and what will happen if your limits are broken. 
By Haline Grublak, Vice President of Member and Family Affairs, Beacon Health Options
Reviewed by Trenda Hedges, CRSS, Recovery Team Manager and Julie Tull, CRSS, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Signs of relapse:

  • Difficulty in carrying out everyday activities
  • Behaviors that are similar to previous relapses
  • Extreme changes in emotions that are not caused by outside events

People with mental illness are stressed by the same kind of life events as everyone else. But the way they react to it can be different. Stress can bring on a relapse of their illness. Not eating right, lack of sleep, or worries about day-to-day problems can cause stress.

While you can’t make a person’s life stress free, you can lessen the effects of stress. Make sure your family member has lots of ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Help her eat healthy, balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Encourage a regular routine and help her stay away from drugs and alcohol. Know what the early signs of a relapse look like. Acting early can help speed recovery.

Warning signs of a relapse:

  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns, personality changes
  • Problems with doing everyday activities
  • Changes in how your family member talks with others
  • Acting in a way that is like other relapses your family member has had
  • Extreme changes in feelings that are not caused by outside events

If you suspect your family member is having a relapse, you should:

  • Tell his doctor or therapist right away. Ask for an evaluation or increase in his meds.
  • Try to lessen stress that may be coming from outside sources.
  • Encourage her to stay involved in any therapy or peer programs.
  • Try to keep the home environment as calm, secure, and stable as possible.
  • Try to talk to your relative about your concerns. Talk with him about things he can do to keep the relapse from getting even worse.

Be prepared:

  • Have a crisis plan ready for yourself.
  • Keep emergency phone numbers (doctor, therapist, police, hospital, etc.) in a convenient place.  Load these numbers in your cell or smart phone.
  • Know your limits and how you will react if those limits are broken. Make sure your relative knows your limits and what will happen if your limits are broken. 
By Haline Grublak, Vice President of Member and Family Affairs, Beacon Health Options
Reviewed by Trenda Hedges, CRSS, Recovery Team Manager and Julie Tull, CRSS, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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