What Does Relapse Mean In Mental Health

The importance of sound mental health has been recognized by the majority. Successfully awareness has been raised with escalating cases of PTSD, manic, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. However, mental health relapse is a disease that is growing alongside those mental disorders.

So, what does relapse mean in mental health? Mental health relapse occurs when a person's treated mental disorder reappears for a variety of reasons. Mental relapses might occasionally happen frequently and be constant.

This guide has been designed with signs, facts, triggers, prevention, and cure techniques for mental health relapse. To have a clear idea about everything there is to know about relapse, stay with us till the end!

What Does Relapse Mean In Mental Health? (Signs of Mental Health Relapse)

Mental health relapse is when a person’s cured mental disorder comes back due to various circumstances. At times mental relapse may occur frequently and stay consistent. This, unfortunately, lowers a person’s functionality with setbacks.

The first sign of relapse is enduring symptoms of a mental disorder that have been cured for once. This may occur due to untreated medical problems. The symptom suggests that the person enduring it has no control over the mental health disorder and needs professional medical assistance.

Although every patient has a different aspect and experience with mental disorders, mental health relapse is quite similar for most. Having no control over mental health is a warning sign, and it mostly leads to various other consequences. Some of the consequences may include:

  • Higher Risk-Taking Behavior
  • Isolation from Others
  • Delusional
  • Sleep Pattern Change
  • Confusion
  • Person Hygiene Deficiency

Proper steps and medical assistance must be taken when these signs are noticeable. Proper nutrients are also needed when such problems arise. Understanding a person’s triggers is vital in order to control mental health relapse.

How Do People Experience Relapse in Mental Health?

Experience may differ from person to person regarding mental health relapse. However, some common problems may include mental trauma and revisiting disorders a person once faced. Let’s find them out:


A person suffering from schizophrenia may get perfect control of their condition through medicine and counseling, yet they may still experience an abrupt personality change. This is known as a schizophrenic episode.

It might disrupt the therapeutic process and produce an abrupt loss of reality. During psychotic episodes, it can potentially lead to a more significant break.

Social Interaction and Productivity Lacking

Relapse in common mental diseases such as depression may result in decreased productivity, motivation, and social contact. It may severely result in a significant decrease in daily functions, social withdrawal, delusions or hallucinations, or becoming hostile.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD symptoms can appear and disappear over time. A relapse is defined as the reappearance of enough symptoms to meet the criteria for PTSD diagnosis. Even if you do not fully relapse, you may find yourself falling back into previous patterns of thought or behavior.

You should be aware of the warning symptoms so that you can intervene with healthy coping techniques as soon as possible. PTSD is one of the main signs of the problem.


Depression is a vast and vague area to point out. However, still, depression is one of the most difficult disorders to track relapse for since people experience sadness regularly.

A person suffering from depression who becomes abruptly depressed for no apparent reason may be experiencing a relapse. This can happen suddenly and dramatically, raising the risk of suicidal ideation.

Triggers of Relapse in Mental Health

Triggers of relapse in mental health must be dealt with cautiousness to prevent them from happening. A person who has faced relapse in mental health has previously found out about their triggers.

It is important to stay safe from them and try to bring higher control over them. Some of the common triggers in mental health relapse include-

Personal Loss and Grief

When it comes to personal loss, all of a sudden, it leads to serious stress that connects a person’s past bad experiences. People who endure or have endured PTSD it is very likely to face a relapse in mental health from personal loss and grief. This problem also connects to high expectations of a person and heartbreaks.

Continuous Stress

Many experience anxiety and stress on a regular.  People suffering from mental illness may struggle to manage it well. This can result in a relapse of a mental disorder, especially if the stress is unexpected, significant, or long-lasting.

Because of the persistent presence of fight-or-flight hormones, stress taxed both the brain and the body. This makes it difficult for a person suffering from mental illness to keep control. It can also affect how drugs work.

Insufficient Rest and Sleep

Everyone is indeed living a busy life, but still, sufficient rest is very important. Lack of sleep boosts the signs and symptoms of mental diseases, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other conditions.

However, many mental conditions make getting the necessary amount of sleep difficult. This makes it challenging for anyone attempting to maintain their mental health.

No Medical Treatment

Many people quit taking medications just after seeing the results, which is a significant reason for mental health relapse. Medication is essential for people suffering even when someone is facing side effects. Consistency in medical assistance must be maintained to fight such medical problems.

Conflict in Relationships

Not only conflict in romantic relationships, but conflict in every kind of relationship may worsen the situation.  However, you may not be able to avoid certain circumstances.

Instead, if you are experiencing these more complex situations, it is best to collaborate closely with your therapist and doctors to monitor your condition and assist you in avoiding the onset of severe relapse.

A person suffering from any form of mental illness may find it difficult to negotiate complex relationships quickly. This could imply that more family members or support group therapy are required.

Usage of Alcohol and Other Substance

Addiction to alcohol and other substances nearly makes it impossible for people to recover. It is important to look for medical and emotional assistance during such addiction alongside mental trauma.

According to many people, using such substances gives them temporary pleasure. Being addicted to temporary pleasure is not the answer to being cured.

What to Do When Mental Relapse Happens?

The first thing a person can do is not be stubborn anymore but seek help and medical and emotional assistance. Leaving mental health relapse worsens when it is left untreated for a long period.

Here are some steps you can take to fight and prevent mental health relapse:

  • Connect with a good therapist, make an appointment
  • Reconnect with family members if you feel isolated
  • Going for Self-Care
  • A temporary break from the job and academic education to rest
  • Speak about your triggers with close ones
  • Connect with a social/support group or community

A combination of many tiny problems may lead to a serious mental disorder. Mental health relapse at times occurs from such experiences. There is no shame in seeking help during such hours of need.

Final Note- An Overview

Society takes relapse in mental health lightly, whereas it is the recurrence of the problems a patient has faced before. When it is left untreated, the problems may become severe. So, now you know what relapse mean in mental health?

Identifying mental health relapse in the early stages is crucial before the problem becomes uncontrollable. Going for therapy sessions, connecting with close people, and spending time on self-care are good practices.

Once again, there is no shame in seeking help!

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