A resource to support good mental health and wellbeing for the people of Qatar
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Pathway to Recovery

​Recovery is an ongoing process, not a one-off event, and does not mean being cured.

Recovery means different things to different people including:

  • Living a satisfying and contributing life even within the limitations caused by illness
  • Setting and achieving goals, having a well-integrated social life and reaching your full potential
  • Building something new…rather than trying to get back to how you were before
  • Taking steps to get closer to where you would like to be – emotionally, spiritually and socially… and building hope for the future
  • A personal achievement. It is not something that someone else does for you, but others can help if you want them to

The recovery process varies from person to person in terms of duration and degree of improvement. Some people will recover very quickly and be ready to return to their life and responsibilities soon after. Other individuals will need time to respond to treatment and may need to return to their responsibilities more gradually. If symptoms remain or return, the recovery process may be prolonged. Some people experience a difficult period lasting months or even years before they feel able to function fully in their usual responsibilities. Not everyone will stop having symptoms during their recovery – the key is to stop the symptoms affecting the person's life as much.

Recovery may involve:

  • regaining a sense of control over the illness and your life
  • reducing symptoms
  • making specific lifestyle changes to support mental wellness
  • having self-management techniques to organize your life and avoid negative thinking or unhealthy behaviors
  • a restored sense of self and "feeling better about myself"
  • having the illness no longer being a dominant part of your day-to-day living
  • developing self-awareness including potential 'triggers' of illness and positive factors that can aid your recovery
  • being able to talk to people and engage in relationships again
  • returning to work or school
  • having a strong support network as well as establishing some independence from people who have been caring for you while you were unwell 
  • being accepted by others, especially family and friends
  • feeling a sense of belonging (including through spirituality or religious beliefs)
  • learning to say 'NO' and not overcommit your time, especially to activities that may cause stress or trigger your symptoms
  • seeking further advice if treatments or therapeutic relationships are not working


During the recovery journey there will be growth and setbacks, times of change and maybe times where there seem to be little change. It takes time to rebuild confidence and abilities after experiencing the effects of mental illness.


People in recovery may experience a range of challenges including:

  • difficulty accepting that they have an illness
  • impatience (recovery may seem slow)
  • depression, isolation or social anxiety
  • lowered self-esteem
  • difficulty following their treatment plan
  • trouble accepting advice and working with health professionals

While medical and/or psychological treatment can help with a person's recovery, there are also many other ways people can help themselves at any stage of their recovery and to help them stay well.

Below are reflections from people in Qatar on their recovery journey from mental illness:


"I can get along with my life most of the time. As much as I can, I try to avoid anything that could make me anxious or upset"


"I am (finally) in recovery from anxiety. Notice I did not say I am recovered from it, but I am actively working on my recovery"


"… I accepted myself for who I am… I used to wonder why I'm different from other people while now I understand what works for me and what doesn't work… and I just go for it…"


"It's just like for diabetic people for example… I can completely recover but I must have medication for staying in a good health and I might need to talk to somebody every two months.

But I can run my own life and enjoy it, instead of staying at the bottom… "


"The medication is just one of many tools in my recovery toolbox"


"There is always hope…"


"Learning to live with a mental illness has made me a wiser person. When I am able to better realize my limitations and my potential, and take better care for myself.  I am a happier person which can only make those around me happier too."


"I can have fun and laugh with my children again.

I think that matters far more than anything else"

People can recover from mental illness.  Recovery is different for each person and involves personal goals and hope for the future​​