As with many diseases, it is possible to suffer a mental health relapse, even when medications are used routinely and counseling is provided. If you have a mental health disorder, it’s essential to know what the early warning signs of a mental health relapse are so you can react to them.
If you are struggling now with symptoms of relapse, please call FHE Health for immediate help. Don’t wait until it worsens to get the help you need.
What Is a Mental Health Relapse?
A relapse is a type of setback. It can occur in most types of mental illness. When it happens, it can cause a person to experience severe consequences and may lead to hospitalization. Though this can be a challenge, those suffering a relapse may still be able to get significant help to restore balance and stability to their lives.
Is a Mental Health Relapse the Same as an Addiction Relapse?
In a way, mental health relapses can be similar to what happens when a person relapses and begins using drugs and alcohol again. However, there tends to be a significant difference here simply because a person with a mental illness doesn’t choose to make this decision. It can happen for many reasons, including the triggers listed below. It can also happen for an unknown reason, which can make it less predictable than that which occurs with addiction issues.
Examples of Mental Relapse
Each disease or condition may have its own set of relapse signatures. Here are a few examples.
A person suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder may begin to feel anxiety and a loss of control in certain situations. Even if they seemed to have been fully in control previously, they may experience instances of heightened awareness to their surroundings linked to the traumatic event.
A person with schizophrenia may develop complete control over their condition with medication and therapy, but they may still develop a sudden change in personality. This is referred to as a schizophrenic episode. It can cause a break during the treatment process and causes a sudden loss of reality. It can also lead to a more significant break during psychotic episodes.
Depression is one of the most challenging of all conditions to monitor relapse for because people feel sad from time to time as a regular part of life. However, a person with depression who seems suddenly sad without an obvious cause may be suffering from a relapse. This can be sudden and significantly, increasing the risk of suicidal thoughts.
Manic or Bipolar Episodes
In this situation, a person may begin to display the typical very high and very low range of emotions that occur in bipolar. When a relapse happens, a person can become unstable quickly, requiring help.
Be Prepared: Know Your Triggers
What we do know is that many people who suffer mental illness relapse do so because of exposure to triggers. These are specific experiences, locations, people or events that seem to bring back memories or create instances of heightened mental illness. This is one of the most common causes of a mental health relapse.
When exposed to the person causing harm to them, a person with PTSD may react, for example. If a person with depression suffers a significant instance of life-changing circumstances, such as a death of a close loved one, that can trigger their depression to worsen, breaking through medication treatment.
What Are the Common Mental Health Relapse Triggers?
It’s possible to know your triggers. In other words, just like with addiction relapse, by avoiding any type of trigger that could cause a relapse, it may be possible to maintain mental stability. Some common types of triggers include the following:
Everyone deals with stress on a daily basis, but those with a mental illness may struggle with managing it well. This can trigger a mental illness relapse, especially if that stress is sudden, significant or long-lasting. Stress taxes the brain and the body due to the constant presence of fight-or-flight hormones. This makes it hard for a person with mental illness to maintain control. It can also impact the function of medications.
Breaking up with a loved one, divorce or death are common relationsthip triggers. These may not be situations you can avoid, though. Rather, if you are going through these more challenging instances, it is best to work closely with your therapist and doctors to monitor your condition to help you avoid the onset of significant relapse. A person with mental illness of any type may find it hard to navigate complex relationships with ease. This may mean there’s a need for more family or group therapy.
Bipolar condition is a good example of how unrealistic expectations can create problems for a person with mental illness. If you’re hoping for a very good outcome to happen, and it doesn’t happen, it can create a very sudden drop in your mood. In some situations, these unexpected expectations can be related to school, relationships, work or just day-to-day life. It can lead to difficulty coping with reality, especially when those expectations are life-changing.
Those who use drugs or alcohol while using medications for mental illness will find it challenging to control relapses. These substances change brain chemistry enough to make it very difficult to control outcomes. Many times, people using substances like this may be doing so because their current treatment plans are leaving them vulnerable to additional mental anguish or difficulty. Recognize the use of a substance like this as a good reason to get more advanced help.
Not Taking Medications
There is no bigger reason for a mental health relapse than this. It’s the most common cause of them. Yet, it is also the most preventable. Consistency with medications is essential. Over time, your doctor may need to adjust them to meet your needs better.
Identifying the Relapse Early Makes a Difference
The sooner you or your loved one determines that relapse is a possibility, seek out help. The sooner this happens, the more likely it is that you can get it back under control quickly, reducing the risks of complications later. Men and women who experience any of these triggers or other changes in their lives should know that means they need a bit more help.
Seek Out FHE Health for Immediate Care and Support
With a team of compassionate counselors available 24 hours a day, we can help you with any mental illness relapse quickly. Contact FHE Health to learn more about the options available to you today.