Learn How To Make Your Life Better, Not Your Illness Better

Don Webber

In what ways have you found psychiatric medication helpful, if any?

Very little, they are just a tool, a small tool, only anti-anxiety drugs have helped me.

Have you found psychiatric medication harmful?


Have you experienced any serious physical health problems as a result of your psychiatric medications?


During your mental health care, have you often felt hopeless about your chance of getting better?

Yes. I spent years looking for the right drug that would “fix my brain”. I was looking for the magic bullet. It does not exist. Then I found out about RECOVERY.

During your mental health care, have you often felt hopeful about your chance of getting better?

Yes, but only when I found out about RECOVERY. That has nothing to do with meds.

Has a mental health provider ever told you that you could not reach a personal goal because of your psychiatric diagnosis? (For example, education, career, independent housing, relationship, and children)

Yes. They never gave me hope.

If you overcame hopelessness that you could get better from a mental health or emotional problem, was there a turning point or you?

Yes, a peer told me that mental health recovery was not the same as a broken leg recovery. I could make my life better even if my mental illness did not get better.

Tell us what recovery means to you. How would you define recovery from mental health or emotional problems?

Recovery for me means reaching my maximum potential, seeking the desire of my heart, finding rich meaning in life, even though I live with mental illness.

If you could send a brief message to someone receiving mental health care today who is feeling hopeless about getting better, what would you say?

I did it, so can you, if you do not have hope for yourself, I have it for you. Learn how to make your life better, not your illness better. I have been through it, and I will go through it with you. You have to take charge of your own recovery

Can you give examples showing you have gotten better from a mental or emotional problem, such as how you are doing well or accomplishing goals you have chosen?

I work full time after having SSDI for 18 years. My life is better now than it has ever been. I still have illness and have to manage stress. I now teach RECOVERY to others. I took charge of my recovery.