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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 59 (2017) 7, 414 - 421

Essay

Negative symptoms and an interruption in the life-line; recovery from passivity and apathy involves adaptions and risk-taking

M. Kole, T. Kuipers

background Up till now, the experiences of people recovering from psychotic states and particularly from negative symptoms have scarcely been integrated into current scientific knowledge of recovery.
aim To contribute to the integration of scientific knowledge about recovery processes by creating an up-to-date model of negative symptoms.
method In our article we report the views and comments of an expert patient and a psychiatrist regarding crucial aspects of the recovery process of the patient who had experienced a long period of passivity.
results Recovery seems to be aided by a number of ‘soft’ factors. The damage caused by the interruption in a patient’s life-line has to be limited as far as possible. Patients must be given the opportunity to adjust to the new situation in which they find themselves. We describe various ways of encouraging interaction and exploration. Patients need to be presented with relevant samples of recovery so that they become optimistic about future improvements in their own mental health.
conclusion The approach outlined in this article is likely to contribute to a better understanding of this precarious mental health state.

keywords apathy, negative symptoms, recovery, treatment