Classic Blog – ‘What is Recovery?’: Julie Repper & Rachel Perkins

2007_0116walpole0097-220x164In my blogs, I will be exploring the nature of recovery and will sometimes focus on the ideas of someone else (or a group of people). I’ve previously looked at how David Best has talked about “What is Recovery?” David described key principles underlying addiction recovery.

In this blog, I am going to look at what Julie Repper and Rachel Perkins have to say about “What is Recovery?”, as described in their excellent book Social Inclusion and Recovery: A Model for Mental Health Practice. They include a number of quotes about recovery, some of which I will use here.

As Julie and Rachel point out the concept of mental health recovery did not come from professionals and academics. It emerged from the writings of people who themselves face the challenges of life with mental health problems. On the basis of such accounts Anthony (1993) described recovery as:

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‘We Are All Connected: Reflection on Robin Williams’ Suicide’ by Pat Deegan

CW, CBS And Showtime 2013 Summer TCA Party - ArrivalsLike so many, I was deeply affected by Robin Williams’ suicide.  I was a big fan of his comedy.  In one of his greatest moments of standup, he invented a new psychiatric medicine he called “Fukitol” and forever won my heart. I also loved most of his dramatic performances such as Good Morning Vietnam, The Birdcage, and Good Will Hunting.

I knew all along that Robin Williams was one of us.  He reveled in outrageous genius that always teetered on madness.  He made the world laugh, while he wrestled with depression and battled his addictive demons.

Of course, he slipped at times.  He took wrong turns and made some bad choices.  But he was resilient.  He kept self-righting. He sought out help including detox, medications, therapy and mutual support groups.

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Pat Deegan – Common Ground

A brilliant must-see talk by Pat Deegan, a major pioneer and inspiration in the mental health field. After describing her own experiences in treatment, Pat talks about Common Ground, the web-based application she has developed that helps people meet with psychiatrists and doctors and arrive at the best decisions for their treatment and recovery.

This is Pat’s presentation at the 2012 Summer Institute for Informed Patient Choice at Dartmouth.

My Favourite Blogs – ‘Loneliness: a call to generosity’ by Pat Deegan

100_0690Here is a wonderful blog from US recovery advocate Pat Deegan:

‘Like many people, I experienced periods of intense loneliness during my recovery after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Over time, I learned that my loneliness was a call for me to be more generous and to give of myself. Here’s what I mean:

Loneliness and being alone are two different things. In my early recovery, being alone was an important self-care strategy for me.

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Recovery from mental disorders, lecture by Pat Deegan

Patricia Deegan PhD is a psychologist and researcher. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teeenager. For years, Patricia has worked with people with mental disorders in various ways, to help them get better and lead rewarding lives.

This film features clips from a lecture by Patricia Deegan on the subject of her own route to recovery. She describes how her diagnosis took on ‘a master status in terms of her identity’. Her humanity seemed to others ‘to be quite secondary.’

‘He had read a generic text book and simply applied it to the case in font of him. Schizophrenics don’t recover, Pat Deegan won’t recover. It was that simple…’

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‘What is Recovery?’: Julie Repper & Rachel Perkins

2007_0116walpole0097Another favourite past blog:

‘In my blogs, I will be exploring the nature of recovery and will sometimes focus on the ideas of someone else (or a group of people). I’ve previously looked at how David Best has talked about “What is Recovery?” David described key principles underlying addiction recovery.

In this blog, I am going to look at what Julie Repper and Rachel Perkins have to say about “What is Recovery?”, as described in their excellent book Social Inclusion and Recovery: A Model for Mental Health Practice. They include a number of quotes about recovery, some of which I will use here.

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‘Success, Social Value, and Personal Mission (Part Two)’ by Forbes

Pat-Deegan-300x211The second part of a Pat Deegan interview by the business magazine Forbes.

‘We’re talking with Pat Deegan, creator of CommonGround, a web-based application that empowers patients recovering from mental illness to take a more active role in their recovery.

A former schizophrenia patient in her teens, Pat overcame a diagnosis of complete disability to become an internationally-recognized psychologist, and founder of a Personal Medicine system that empowers people diagnosed with mental conditions, working with their care providers and their communities, to take control of their own treatment and personal recovery.

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‘Success, Social Value, and Personal Mission (Part One)’ from Forbes

Pat-Deegan-300x211When have you seen a recovery article on the Forbes website. Well here goes, the first of two on Pat Deegan. It’s been a great year for Pat and for all those people she has helped by her work.

‘Pat Deegan is the creator of CommonGround, a web-based application that empowers patients recovering from mental illness to take a more active role in their recovery. Pat’s own journey began in her adolescence. At 17 she was diagnosed schizophrenia. Psychiatrists told her that schizophrenia is a disease from which nobody recovers. They advised her to retire from normal life, avoid stress, and take high dose antipsychotic medication regularly.

It turned out that the treatment was as disabling as the disorder. Most disabling of all was the prognosis of doom and hopelessness surrounding the diagnosis and treatment.

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‘Hope and Recovery: Part 2’ by Pat Deegan

rsz_beautiful-bhutan-pictures-91‘Recently I was asked to give some brief comments for a German publication.  I was asked: “Given that hope is an is an important aspect of recovery, how can professionals give hope. Have you experienced someone giving you hope? Do you remember a special situation?”  I replied:

“Professionals can’t give hope. But they can be hopeful. They can root their work in hope. Hope is different than optimism.

Optimism is shallow and trite. Optimism is false hope. Workers who are optimistic are like cheerleaders at a football match. They say shallow, unhelpful things like, “I just know you can recover. Everything will be all right. Tomorrow will be a better day.”

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‘Courage and Recovery’ by Pat Deegan

“When I talk about my recovery, people sometimes tell me I must have a lot of courage. However, if I am honest, I would have to say I never felt particularly courageous during my recovery.

Mostly I felt determined, afraid and uncertain. I felt determined to get well, afraid I couldn’t do it and uncertain about how to get the life I wanted for myself.

I was not a courageous hero. I was scared and vulnerable, but I continued (on most days) to put one foot in front of the other on the long walk of my recovery…”

Lifetime Achievement Award for Pat Deegan

the_muthas-347x171You can find Pat Deegan and her wonderful mental health recovery work on this website in a number of places – just check out by searching. Pat has just won a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award  from the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services. Here is what she said on her PDA website:

‘Last week I was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services.

My friends Sally Zinman, Jacki McKinney and Gayle Bluebird also received awards. I really enjoyed the way the award ceremony was handled.  Harvey Rosenthal had 5 big armchairs arranged on the keynote stage with mics in front of each.  We were presented with our awards and then had the opportunity to address three questions:

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‘Personal medicine, power statements and other disruptive innovations in healthcare technology’ by Pat Deegan

patdeegan_photoI’ve just found this exciting article by Pat Deegan which she wrote for the Scottish Recovery Network (SRN). In my humble opinion, Pat’s CommonGround approach will have an enormous impact in the mental health field.

The SRN writes: “Given her hugely influential writing and personal reflections, research interests and involvement in various policy and practice initiatives, Pat Deegan is arguably the single most influential person within the international recovery movement. Her work today is strongly focused on shared decision making approaches and here she describes how the CommonGround approach, which she has developed, has real potential to encourage systems change towards recovery.”

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Pat Deegan film clips

Pat is a leading mental health recovery advocate, as well as psychologist and researcher [4 clips]

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‘What is Recovery?’: Julie Repper & Rachel Perkins

2007_0116walpole0097In my blogs, I will be exploring the nature of recovery and will sometimes focus on the ideas of someone else (or a group of people). I’ve previously looked at how David Best has talked about “What is Recovery?” David described key principles underlying addiction recovery.

In this blog, I am going to look at what Julie Repper and Rachel Perkins have to say about “What is Recovery?”, as described in their excellent book Social Inclusion and Recovery: A Model for Mental Health Practice. They include a number of quotes about recovery, some of which I will use here.

Read More ➔

Loneliness: a call to generosity

100_0690Here is a wonderful blog from US recovery advocate Pat Deegan:

‘Like many people, I experienced periods of intense loneliness during my recovery after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Over time, I learned that my loneliness was a call for me to be more generous and to give of myself. Here’s what I mean:

Loneliness and being alone are two different things. In my early recovery, being alone was an important self-care strategy for me.

Read More ➔

Recovery from mental disorders, lecture by Pat Deegan

Patricia Deegan PhD is a psychologist and researcher. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teeenager. For years, Patricia has worked with people with mental disorders in various ways, to help them get better and lead rewarding lives.

This film features clips from a lecture by Patricia Deegan on the subject of her own route to recovery. She describes how her diagnosis took on ‘a master status in terms of her identity’. Her humanity seemed to others ‘to be quite secondary.’

Read More ➔