Relapse Prevention plays a big part in treatment of mental disorders. It normally involves two parts, (1) to identify high risk situations, what are the situations that are likely to cause relapse? (2) to prepare of coping plans, what would you do if you find that you are in one of these situations and feeling overwhelming?
Here are some general examples of relapse-prone situations to most commonly seen psychological, mental or psychiatric problems. There are normally some high-risk situations that are specific to each individual and the psychological problem that s/he has.
- Stress: from any source really, it could be accumulative, or due to single (major) event
- Negative emotional states, such as anger, anxiety, depression, frustration, and boredom
- Physical illness: when you don’t feel well physically, your emotions are affected too
- Social isolation (Very important! Face-to-face social interaction has been found to reduce risk of depression, yes F2F, not through whatsapp or instagram!)
- Major life transition events (graduating from college, starting a new job, getting a promotion, getting married, becoming a parent, ending a relationship, loss & grief, moving house etc)
- Going back to the environment that is related to your onset of previous episode(s)
- Social pressure, interpersonal conflicts (especially for relapse of addictions)
So yes, do pay attention if you are in one or some of those abovementioned situations, and watch out for those early warning signs, including by watching out how your sleep patterns, appetite, mood level and (physical & social) activity level are.