What Is Relapse & How Physicians Can Develop Long-Term Recovery In Patients With Addiction Problems?
For patients who struggle with addiction issues, relapse is something that occurs most of the time. This particularly occurs after successful therapies. That is why physicians and clinicians can try their best to encourage recovery in these patients. According to health experts, patients who struggle with addiction and other mental illnesses experience relapse even after successfully undergoing therapies. And that is why they suggest that these patients need special care to overcome these illnesses.
To begin with, these patients with mental disabilities and addictions need to follow the prescriptions of the physician after successful therapy. Secondly, they need to be educated about the nature of relapse. And they need to know why it occurs.
In this article, we are going to look at relapse. We will see the nature of relapse from a patient’s point of view. Plus, we will also see how doctors can motivate and encourage patients with addictions to overcome relapse.
What is Relapse?
In its essence, a relapse is the reoccurrence of the same disorder after a successful diagnosis. For instance, if a patient with stress was diagnosed and went through successful therapy, he feels relieved from the illness for a short span of time. With the passage of time, the disability reoccurs. In other words, the illness occurs again – just like the one the patient had ex[erience prior to the therapy.
However, it is essential to note here that the therapy in and of itself was successful. But for some unknown reasons, the patient develops the same symptoms once again as time passes. In medical terms, this is called a relapse.
What are the Three Phases of Relapse?
According to the research published in the Yale Journal of Medicine & Biology, there are three apparent phases of relapse. These phases are mental, emotional, and physical.
In the mental phase of relapse, the patient tries to think about doing something but avoids it. This could be either an addiction craving or a trigger association with the past use of drugs. Essentially, in the mental phase of relapse, the patient minimizes the risks of the past use in his mind.
On the other hand, the emotional phase of relapse is all about the emotional aspect of the patient’s life. Loneliness, not letting go of past emotions, missing parties, and isolation are some of the potent symbols of the emotional phase of relapse.
In the physical phase of relapse, the patient uses the same drug again. This means that the patient resumes his addiction. In his mind, he thinks that nobody can see him doing the same thing all over again. The patient fantasizes about the therapy assuming that the illness is gone for good. As the patient finds “the window of opportunity” to use it again, the illness reoccurs.
Thus, to help patients overcome relapse, doctors need to encourage patients to follow prescriptions. As a result, the risks of relapse can be lesser than the actual numbers.
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