5 Reasons I Wish We Would Stop Talking About 'Recovery' for Serious Mental Illness And the Word I Wish We Would Use Instead

January 30, 2015 11:10 AM

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5 Reasons I Wish We Would Stop Talking About 'Recovery' for Serious Mental Illness And the Word I Wish We Would Use Instead

My heart hurts today. My friend Laura Pogliano has lost her 22-year-old son Zac, who had paranoid schizophrenia. Both Laura and Zac were tireless and passionate advocates for ending the stigma of mental illness. Their story was featured in USA Today's "Cost of Not Caring" series, where Laura described herself as a "fortunate" mother -- fortunate because despite personal bankruptcy, she had been able to obtain treatment that seemed to be working for her son. This tragic turn reminds all of us mothers just how fragile life is for our children who have serious mental illness. As a parent of a child with bipolar disorder, my worst nightmare is what happened to Laura and her son.

There's a popular quote floating around mental health advocacy circles: "Mental illness is not a choice. But recovery is." I know people will disagree with me, but today, I'm tired of that sentiment, and I wish we would retire the word "recovery." When local and national mental health policy is shap...

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