• Nicole Arzt

What Are Realistic Goals For Severe Mental Illness Recovery?




Are you or a loved one struggling with mental health? If so, you aren't alone. Research shows that over 11 million American adults struggle with severe mental illness.


The road to recovery may seem confusing, scary, or even impossible. You may not be sure what to expect, and you may also question what's realistic and obtainable.


No matter your particular circumstances, it's possible to live a meaningful and fulfilling life, regardless of your mental health. However, it's also essential to maintain appropriate goals for your recovery. Let's get into some of the best milestones to consider.


Increased Self-Esteem

Many times, people struggling with severe mental illness lack confidence. They feel insecure and anxious about their actions- they wonder if people truly care about them.


In recovery, it’s normal to experience a rollercoaster of emotions regarding your self-confidence. That’s why it’s important to focus on boosting your self-esteem and self-worth.


Quick Tips For Improving Self-Esteem

  • Identify and challenge your negative thoughts

  • Aim to reduce placing unnecessary blame on yourself

  • Focus on improving your physical health as a means of releasing stress

  • Try to avoid comparing yourself to others

  • Accept compliments from others

  • Identify your strengths and focus on how you can cultivate them

  • Practice compassion with yourself (even when you feel hurt or upset)

  • Prioritize healthy relationships

  • Engage in regular mindfulness

Satisfying Relationships WIth Others


Relationships often suffer as a result of severe mental illness complications. When you’re going through a tough time, it’s easy to isolate yourself from others. You might also associate with people who don't respect you or your boundaries.


It is a good idea to make your relationships a priority as you move through the recovery process. With a supportive community, it often feels easier to navigate the recovery process.


Quick Tips For Improving Your Relationships

  • Practice being honest about your feelings to others

  • Maintain realistic expectations about what you want in a relationship

  • Aim to be the kind of friend you wish to have

  • Decrease or eliminate complaining your relationships

  • Ask people questions about themselves and show an interest in their life

  • Focus on building empathy for other people and their circumstances

  • Avoid gossipping or bad-mouthing others behind their backs

Above all else, aim to make sure your relationships feel healthy and beneficial to your overall well-being. Ideally, you should feel comfortable and respected by your community. If you think the relationship might hinder your recovery, consider stepping back.


Increased Autonomy

When you have mental health struggles, it’s normal to become more dependent on the people in your life. Often, loved ones enable this behavior. They worry that you can't take care of yourself, and they might readily step in to support you.


As you move through recovery, it is important to focus on prioritizing your independence. You might do this through finding a job, living on your own, or establishing independent relationships. You might also focus on your decision-making skills; rather than seek someone else's approval, you might try to practice making choices without asking permission.


As you develop healthier habits, you may also start to feel more comfortable doing things alone. Ideally, your support system should encourage this increase in autonomous behavior.


Treatment Compliance

Treatment compliance refers to how well you actively engage with your treatment and adapt to different expectations for your growth. You should be actively involved and aware of your treatment plan.


Treatment compliance goes hand-in-hand with an increase in self-esteem. As your self-confidence and sense of self-worth improve, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to feel better.


Your treatment might include different medications, lifestyle changes, individual therapy, or group therapy. If you’re unhappy with your treatment plan or don’t feel like it’s helping, talk about it with your team. It's normal to have some concerns about treatment being too hard, but it shouldn't feel so impossible that you're completely overwhelmed.


Compliance matters in all areas of your treatment. For example, it's essential that you remain open with your therapist. It's crucial that you take your medication on time. It's also important that you speak up when you feel like something is negatively impacting you. Your team wants to see you improve, but they can't read your mind!


Finding The Right Goals For Your Severe Mental Illness Recovery

Treatment for severe mental illness can be complex and multi-faceted. You may need to try several different strategies before landing on what works best. This is a normal part of the growth process. If you remain curious and open-minded for change, you will be more likely to experience relief.


At The Resurface Group, we offer a variety of mental health services for our clients. We understand the need for effective treatment, and we are proud to provide long-term solutions for people who need it the most.


Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.




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