Completing a treatment program takes immense personal strength and dedication. To have completed your treatment shows that you’re committed to making lasting, positive change in your life. But it’s natural to be afraid of relapses after you’re discharged. You may find yourself faced with environmental triggers and stressful situations that weren’t applicable in treatment.
Fortunately, there are many tools available to help you practice healthy coping mechanisms and avoid relapse.
You should have left the treatment center with some form of outpatient treatment plan. If you don’t have an outpatient treatment plan, put one in place. This can be as simple as setting up an appointment with a psychiatrist (if you have mental health medication you need) or a therapist. Or both! Many mental health professionals recommend having both.
If you’re having an emergency, most doctors will provide numbers at which they can be paged. In a worst case scenario, you can go to the emergency room to be kept safe. It’s imperative that you keep taking any medications you were prescribed, and that you notify your doctor immediately if you experience unusual side effects or think you might be developing a dependency on them.
Most treatment centers will offer therapy for your loved ones. You and your family and friends should practice identifying and eliminating negative environmental triggers. You should also set healthy boundaries and practice conflict resolution. Continuing family therapy after treatment is hugely helpful in preventing relapse.
Find family and friends you trust to care for you should you be having a bad mental health day. It’s invaluable to be able to call someone to keep you company. And focus on honing your hobbies and creative therapies to vent negative emotions.
Many people find it helpful to regularly attend AA or NA meetings. If you have trouble finding transportation, have no fear: AA and NA meetings are also often held online. Emotional support is just a few clicks away.
It’s essential that you adhere to the treatment plan you’re given when you’re discharged. This means taking medications, going to therapy, practicing healthy behaviors, and reaching out during difficult days. Most post-treatment relapses happen because the person self-isolates and loses focus on the coping skills they’ve learned in treatment.
If you find yourself in an environment that’s toxic to your mental health, talk to your doctor as soon as you can. Sometimes treatment centers can provide alternative housing options.
Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. If you need someone to talk to, call 833-846-5669