Relapse ……So how did we get here.
The meaning of Relapse is (A backwards step or worsening condition-a setback)
So if you relate this to a health issue like “exercise” and that a person had attained good maintenance of a said routine or a weight loss benefit followed by an improvement in their condition, then to relapse is to mean that possibly one could be eating badly once again, stopping all healthy beneficial related exercises and “Relapsing.”
People who go into maintenance and have changed a bad behaviour have one or more relapses along the way. This is sometimes typical of how people use behaviour change. It can be a dangerous step backwards for some people (ie users of drugs can relapse and find themselves back in the same old arena) but for others it can be short lived.
It is not favourable to relapse.It is important to recognisable within a change process that relapse comes with pitfalls. Some of these can be:
- A strong desire to go back to old habits
- A need to be more compulsive than before
- A lack of Caring
- Self Esteem issues (feeling no good about yourself)
People who relapse also feel they have slipped and ruined every thing they have attempted to date. This is not true. It has been proven in studies (Di Clemente 1982) that it does help to know how and where and when the person relapsed and Why? This is good to note as the issues can be worked on and lessons can be learnt from them. So if the relapse is only for a short period of time the upside of this can be :
- Learn from the reason the person relapsed
- Take steps to avoid the area in which relapse occurred
- Come through the process and become stronger
- And try try again.
There is no magic potion for relapse, just the desire to get back up and try again with new found knowledge that has been gained – hopefully stronger. Easier said than done………or not. There is always a reason to try again.