Differences Between Clinical And Personal Recovery

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Question :

Q1. Explore the differences between clinical and personal recovery via the depiction of the lived experience in O’Hagan, Mary (2014).

Q2. What are Recovery principles? How are these different from Clinical Recovery?

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Answer :


Mary O’Hagan (2017) is a former Mental Health Commissioner from New Zealand, well known for his memoir of the experiences in relation to the mental health problems. The mental health problems resulted in distress, depression and frustration during her university studies as a result she got admitted to mental health services. These experiences made her to constantly address the ways of recovery in limiting her distressing mental health and such recovery differ from clinical recovery. Mental health refers to the difficulty in psychological well-being that causes mental illness and deformity (Vogt et al. 2014). Mental health refers to the disturbed psychological state of a person who is affected both on emotional and behavioral level. When a person is experience mental disturbance it is important to address such problems and need mental health care for betterment. The paper focuses on the importance of mental health care and identifies the differences between personal and clinical recovery and the principles governing recovery methods. 

The differences between clinical and personal recovery via the depiction of the lived experience in O’Hagan, Mary:

Personal recovery refers to the idea that originated from the expertise of people in analyzing the lived experienced of mental illness. Personal recovery in various ways differs from clinical recovery. According to O’ Hagan’s experience, personal recovery is sensitive and deeply personal that slowly affects one’s attitudes, behavior, psychology, values, feelings, goals, skills etc. personal recovery helps in living a satisfying, favorable and pleasant life within the consequences and affects of mental illness (O’Hagan, 2014).  Recovery involve the development of one’s own thoughts, psychology, meaning, habits and manner, purpose in one’s that help people like O’ Hagan feel pleasant and sound within the catastrophic impact of mental illness. The mental health service need proper health care service that will be able to make the patient overcome the trauma, frustration, depression caused due to such psychological disorder. Personal recovery can be processed and effective when one can easily determine the causes and the necessary consequence she will be facing. In determining the causes it will be easier for the patient in solving it comfortably without much mental stress. However, the whole process include both personal and clinical recovery while the patient need to foster to full recovery time and be patient depending on complying with the critical situations. 

It is important to determine the factors responsible for the complete recovery and analyze the support progress group. Progress in the medium of recovery needs to be assessed in order to enhance recovery process. For example a person who recovers personal without the need critical voices is a success in the medium of  personal recovery, while the recovery that needs the presence of the care team and clinical process refers to as the clinical recovery that involve the personalas well as medical need for improvement of one’s own psychology (Slade et al. 2014). However, success in both personal and clinical recovery helps in extracting positive psychological outcome. According to O’ Hagan, recovery can be considered as a person’s living within or without the existence of mental illness and stress. It is not always important to consider that distress cause mental imbalance or disturbance, and simultaneously try to reduce or cut off the symptoms sooner or later, rather it is important consider one’s own self valuable, accepted, pleasant. 

Once a person starts considering herself mentally ill it affects her more physically and mentally. Mental experience need not be diversified or measured and such symptoms need to be handled efficiently. However, the diagnosis and mental health treatment need not be disrespected or disregarded, but should be suggested of primary importance that help in identifying the relevant causes and possibilities of favorable outcome (Hollon et al. 2014). A person need to mentally and physically capable enough to handle one’s own self through the recovery period. People get confused with the term’ recovery’ and connotes it will something severe and personal, causing tension and frustration. Mental illness can be caused due to several factors and it has been a common phenomenon in today’s world. Personal recovery thereby, creates a distinction against the clinical, focusing on strengthening the understanding of the mental health and the philosophy behind the recovery process. The marked difference between the clinical difference and personal recovery refer to the fact that clinical recovery is a systematic way of reducing symptoms through prescribed medicines by counselors, psychiatrist or experts while personal recovery deals with the identification of the causes, evaluation, implementation of effective strategies in improving mental condition that brings out the valued self or a new self that leads to betterment of health  functions and personal growth and development (Tse et al. 2016)

It is complex to identify the appropriate and exact cause of mental illness but with modern counseling process and advancement of psychologist who help in generating mental conditions help in evaluating the mental treatment. However, as examined the causes of mental illness among several age groups are generally due the affects of social, biological, psychological, and environmental elements that weakens the person and results in distress, frustration and imbalance in life (Wunderink et al. 2013). There are several consequences such as physical and mental weakness, personality disorder. Mental illnesses can be the factors in relation to genetic that refer to the inheritance of disorder and weak traits. There are several causes in relation to mental and psychological disorders such as childhood experiences, heredity, illnesses, criticism, molestation, physical assault, sudden disposure, societal victimization and stress. Certain disorders are caused due to defect personality and depression mostly experienced by women (Angermeyer et al. 2013). The consequences of mental illness result in anxiety, frustration, panic, and depression, and schizophrenia, abstract dreams and thoughts, fear, worries, sadness, change in schedule and habits and physical and mental stress. 

Recovery principles and Clinical Recovery:

There are several principles in relation to mental recovery determining both personal and clinical recovery that identifies mental health practice. The principles of recovery deals with the recovery gaining, recovery retaining, recovery hope, understanding of one's habits and manners as well as abilities and disabilities, participation in active life, personal autonomy, social and cultural identity and identification of one’s own self (Shanks et al. 2013). These governing principles help in speeding up individual recovery. Recovery from mental disorders determines the transformation of self, the difference from pre and post recovery analyzing the improvements of the individual. The major focus of the principles is to improve and enhance the individual’s health and well-being. However there is a difference between clinical and personal recovery and the principles governing such recovery process. According to Janet (O’Hagan, 2014), madness need to be assessed and be explained and understandable. Asserting madness is daring. Under the severe experiences, she has been able to overcome her fear, experience and was able to win over psychiatry as she was traumatized due to sexual abuse and rape assault. 

She emphasize that one need not disappear or fear from being abused rather should open up in identifying her stress and value one’s own self and comply with clinical and personal recovery procedures. Madness, for her is being totally aloof and lost somewhere and feeling isolated. She has been an influential woman who dared on writing about her experience motivating and encourage such victims in opening up and follow recovery in living a meaningful life. Clinical recovery is the proposed process that is prescribed by the professionals, counselors, psychologists, through medicines, physical treatment, that will help the individual in reducing the symptoms and stringer the mental balance and condition (Vogt et al. 2014). The principles governing the clinical recovery involve social and cultural operation affecting the individual, eradicating symptoms, strengthening psychological process through counseling, restoring one’s self through medicinal procedures. On the other hand the principles of personal recovery help in restoring physical and mental strength while assessing the symptoms and the causes.Personal recovery is determined through the expertise and supervision of people with lived experience (Gaudillière et al. 2014).


Mental illness, disorders and depression is not something that need to be hidden rather should be treated, recovered through inert strength and clinical methodologies. The individual needs to overcome the superstitions, taboos, societal resistance. The individuals suffering from such illness need to address one’s own problem while lead a sustainable life and help in building a renewed self. It is important to cater to the treatment without hesitation and should be supported by peer, families, friends, society in accepting such mental disorder and together helping providing acre and support. The individual needs to be strong enough to lead a normal life and be active and lively towards living and sustaining life and struggle against such complexities and difficulties.