IN the treatment of mental illness, clinicians traditionally have been concerned with the patient's past history. The diagnostic process which includes an evaluation of the patient's early development, premorbid personality, ego strengths, current social situation, and precipitants to the current illness provide a tentative diagnosis, a treatment plan, and short-term prognosis. This evaluation does not necessarily, however, elucidate those factors which may influence a patient's ability to function adequately in the community after treatment.
Clinical experience has proven time and again that the "recovered" patient is not always able to resume life with the same competence he once had.1 It is not unusual to find that emotional stability is maintained at the expense of social functioning, and that some ex-patients are able to remain free of psychiatric symptoms only if they restrict their activities, responsibilities, and difficult interpersonal interactions.
Burke L, Deykin E, Jacobson S, Haley S. The Depressed Woman ReturnsA Study of Posthospital Adjustment. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;16(5):548-553. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730230032004