5a. Recovery – New Normal


One of the things that we need to address in the recovery period is to come to terms with what is happening now. Are you currently experiencing symptoms that are bothersome to you? It doesn’t matter whether or not they have an assigned diagnosis, but instead, what the specific things are that are bothering you. While we speak a lot about diagnosis, most treatments are actually developed to address specific symptoms, and thus knowing what the symptoms are that you want to focus on, will help it in discussions with a healthcare or mental health care provider about what to try next.

We also recognize that while symptoms have their own impacts directly, there are also outcomes or consequences of those symptoms, or of having gone through a suicidal crisis. For example, these experiences might change our relationships, or living situations, or other aspects of day-to-day life. While medication can be very useful at helping to address particular symptoms, therapy and other supports might be more useful and helping to cope with the indirect effects of those symptoms, or of side effects.

In addition to these considerations, there are also the original stressors or situations that were involved in generating the crisis. This might include grief, loss, trauma, or similar problems. Again, the type of support and processing that you might be able to get from a therapist, counselor, peer specialists, or other supportive person in the community, will be most helpful in figuring out the steps to take to address those challenges.


Symptom – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symptom

Mental Health Facts and Resources – https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/mental_health_facts_and_resources_fact_sheet.pdf

Substance Use Disorders Resources – https://www.samhsa.gov/tribal-ttac/resources/substance-use-disorders

The State of Mental Health in America – http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/issues/state-mental-health-america

Grief and Loss in Addiction and Recovery – https://recoverymonth.gov/events/grief-loss-addiction-recovery-3

Coping with Loss: Bereavement and Grief – http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/coping-loss-bereavement-and-grief

Coping Traumatic Events Resources – https://www.samhsa.gov/capt/tools-learning-resources/coping-traumatic-events-resources 

Recovery & Support – http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/recovery-support

By Dr. Lezine

DeQuincy Lezine is a suicide attempt survivor with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and postdoctoral training in suicide prevention. He is the Director of the Lived Experience Academy.