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Relapse and relapse prevention

In the course of illness, relapse is a return of symptoms after a period of time when no symptoms are present.

Any strategies or treatments applied in advance to prevent future symptoms are known as relapse prevention. the occurrence of relapse increases chances for future relapses In addition, with each relapse, symptoms tend to be more severe and have more serious consequences Many addictions involve a lifestyle centered around the addictive behavior. In such cases, individuals must not only discontinue the addictive habit, they must also restructure their entire lives in order for changes to last. An essential key to preventing relapse is to be aware of the specific situations where one feels vulnerable. These situations are called “triggers,” because they trigger the onset of symptoms. While people with the same mental disorder may share similar triggers, triggers can also be highly individual Because some triggers occur without conscious awareness, individuals may not know all their triggers. Many prevention programs encourage individuals to monitor their behavior closely, reflecting on situations where symptoms occurred and determining what was happening immediately before the onset of symptoms. With this kind of analysis, a pattern often emerges that gives clues about the trigger. Once triggers have been identified, one must find new ways of coping with those situations. The easiest coping mechanism for high-risk situations is to avoid them altogether In some instances, avoidance is a good strategy. In other instances, avoidance is not possible or advisable. One cannot avoid a time of day. Rather, by being aware of this trigger, one can purposely engage in alternate activities during that time. Strategies for coping with unavoidable triggers are generally skills that need to be learned and practiced in order to be effective.

Strategies include—but are not limited to—discussion of feelings, whether with a friend, counselor, or via a hotline; distraction, such as music, exercise, or engaging in a hobby; refocusing techniques, such as meditation, deep-breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation (focusing on each muscle group separately, and routinely tensing then relaxing that muscle), prayer, or journaling; and cognitive restructuring, such as positive affirmation statements (such as, “I am worthwhile”), active problem solving (defining the problem, generating possible solutions, identifying the consequences of those solutions, choosing the best solution), challenging the validity of negative thoughts, or guided imagery (imagining oneself in a different place or handling a situation appropriately).

• Creating a plan for healthy living • Developing a support system • Preparing for possible relapse Some prevention programs include designing a crisis plan to be put into effect if a relapse occurs. The crisis plan involves specific actions to be taken by the individual or members of the support system. If an individual is not interested in making life changes, he or she is not likely to follow a prevention plan.

Relapse and relapse prevention

• In the course of illness, relapse is a return of symptoms after a period of time when no symptoms are present.

• Many addictions involve a lifestyle centered around the addictive behavior. In such cases, individuals must not only discontinue the addictive habit, they must also restructure their entire lives in order for changes to last.

• An essential key to preventing relapse is to be aware of the specific situations where one feels vulnerable.

• These situations are called “triggers,” because they trigger the onset of symptoms. While people with the same mental disorder may share similar triggers, triggers can also be highly individual

• Because some triggers occur without conscious awareness, individuals may not know all their triggers. Many prevention programs encourage individuals to monitor their behavior closely, reflecting on situations where symptoms occurred and determining what was happening immediately before the onset of symptoms. With this kind of analysis, a pattern often emerges that gives clues about the trigger.

• Once triggers have been identified, one must find new ways of coping with those situations. The easiest coping mechanism for high-risk situations is to avoid them all together

• challenging the validity of negative thoughts,

* Creating a plan for healthy living

• Developing a support system

• Preparing for possible relapse prevention programs include designing a crisis plan to be put into effect if a relapse occurs. The crisis plan involves specific actions to be taken by the individual or members of the support system.


• If an individual is not interested in making life changes, he or she is not likely to follow a prevention plan.

This information is very helpful to people who are in recovery. You do not have to relapse if you are in recovery. For more information on this topic please contact me.

Ernie- 954-213-3923


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